Jo Ann Washam, who was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2011, passed away on December 6, 2019 from complications of diabetes. She was 69.
A native of Auburn, Wash., Jo Ann won the club championship at Auburn Golf Course at age 13. She won the PNGA Junior Girls’ Amateur in 1967, then won the PNGA Women’s Amateur in 1970 and 1971. Jo Ann attended Washington State University on an Evans Caddie Scholarship, the first woman from the Pacific Northwest to receive this scholarship.
In 1982, Jo Ann was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame for both basketball and golf, being the school’s first athlete to have played in national championships in two sports while a student. She played on the LPGA Tour for 17 years, from 1973 to 1990, winning three individual tour titles and two team titles (in 1979 with close friend Nancy Lopez as her partner, and in 1976 with Chi Chi Rodriguez as her partner).
Jo Ann finished ninth on the LPGA Tour’s money list in 1980, a year in which she had 12 top 10 finishes.
She was a local celebrity whenever she competed in the tour’s Safeco Classic during its run at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, Wash., and her best finish there was second to Juli Inkster in 1983.
After retiring from the tour, Jo Ann was a golf instructor for several years in Florida, then served as an LPGA teaching pro at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. from 2010-2015. The past few years she was the volunteer assistant golf coach for the boys and girls teams at Enumclaw (Wash.) High School.
Arrangements are being handled by Price-Helton Funeral Home in Auburn, Wash. A celebration of life will be held for Jo Ann after the holidays. Details are pending.