It’s with heavy hearts that we share the passing of our precious Mother, JoAnn Fay Coon (Olson). She joined her Heavenly Father April 28, 2021 in Hinton, AB Canada.
JoAnn was born December 16, 1937 in Havre, Montana to Bertha June (Teske) and Joseph Andrew Olson. She was the oldest of their four children Roberta (Wutsie) June Nelson, Richard (Dick) Cornelius Olson (deceased) and Joseph (Joe) Andrew Olson Jr.
JoAnn spent her early childhood in Havre and Jordon. She was then raised in the Libby area; she spent some favourite times caring for younger children and cousins while learning a different way of life with several Aunts and Uncles. She was blessed to have many supportive family members during those historically hard years.
She met Clifford Clemons Coon after he returned home from the Navy during the Korean War. He had been stationed in the Philippines. They were married March 16, 1956 in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. Things were hard in the beginning as their first two baby boys did not live more than a few hours. They persevered together building a home for a family. They were blessed with three more children, Denise Joy, Ty Nathan and Thomas (Tom) Cornelius. Her life was now full, a strong caring mother, scout leader and an Auntie to her many nieces and nephews growing up in Libby. She and Cliff loved to dance, they joined square dancing. This was their special time together and made many long lasting friends.
In June 1972 JoAnn would follow her husband to a new mill in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. Before heading north she would go back to High School and graduated. She embraced the new Ukrainian culture in the area, took up curling in this very cold place and made family dinners for other foreigners who landed in ML. She was employed in the Mill office, which gave her a new direction (not just a wife and mom).
In 1974 the family moved to Slave Lake, AB were she would take on the produce department of the local grocery store. Co-workers liked to prank and tease the new person, she said it slowed down after she jumped and turned with the lettuce machete in hand to protect herself.
In 1975 JoAnn and family moved to Hinton, were she again joined the produce team at IGA. When both her sons began to work there she went back to school taking a Secretary course and worked at Brassard Agencies. Curling, work friends and yard work would keep her busy.
By 1981 the stars aligned for her and Cliff to move back to Libby and spend some time with their parents, siblings and many nieces and nephews. There they would manage the Eagle Club together.
Spray Lakes Sawmill from Cochrane Alberta would entice them back to Canada were they would both work. Here they joined bowling leagues, square danced in the Calgary 88 Olympics, hosted our first Family reunion in Canada and enjoyed living right next to a big city. They were the half way point from Libby and their kids and enjoyed many family weekends. Her home was filled with a crib and many beds.
Hinton would be their retirement spot so in 1990 they returned. She would care daily for a couple little boys and do books on the side. Flower gardening was her happy place in the summers, enjoying the neighbors and grandkids, curling began again and quilting crept into her life as she would put the cross stitch down. As time marched they would become Snow birds for a few years, drive to Alaska and Oregon to see siblings. After Cliff moved into the Alzheimer’s wing of our local care centre, she was still by his side, you could find them dancing in the kitchen and sitting eating their meals together. She would continue driving the Parkway (alone up to age 80) to visit her family south of the border.
When you’ve been blessed to live to age 83 there are so many things to share with others. The rules mom followed in her life were to do good, be kind to others, share what you know to be true, help those in need and be at peace with your life. She was blessed, she came from strong parents, was raised with many loving Aunts, Uncles, and cousins to learn from and lean on. She married into a good hard working family who also shared their knowledge and love of family. She created her own family, raising them to be caring, strong, independent and hard working. She may have thought her work was done but she would teach her ways to 7 grand children and 11 great grandchildren. Through family dinners, card games and one on one time with GG, she connected with them all in a very heart warming and rule following way.
JoAnn was surrounded by her children Denise and Robert Boutin, Ty and Tami Coon, Tom and Karen Coon, her grandchildren Tyson Boutin and Corinna Hanna, Corlee and Jeff Price, Brice Boutin and Jessica Land, Brian Newman (with Whitney Coon), Teena Coon, Jerri-Lea and Trevor Bomersback, Bret Stoley, her great-grand children, Breck, Ocean, Rhys, Parker, Calla, Sylvie, Lukus, Ava, Elise, Arys and Evelyn. Other special connections were her Care Giver group (affectionately known as the Grey Haired ladies), her Rocky Mountain Quilting clan, her friends and playmates from Good Companions Senior Centre, her most wonderful Neighbors and the sidewalk shovelling Angels. She also leaves behind members of her immediate family, her mother at age 101, her sister Wutsie and brother Joe, 2 special sister in laws Myrna and Brenda, many cousins and her ‘always loved’ nieces and nephews.
We will forever hear your voice in our hearts, Thank you JoAnn for being part of our lives.
Honourable mention goes to Dr Noel Corser, one of her earth Angels. We are appreciative of the care she received from the wonderful nursing staff through the Hinton Hospital and Home Care.