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Obituary: Hughes, Joanne

Age 91

HUGHES, Joanne

Mom is gone, but everyone who knew her will always hold a happy memory of her in their hearts. She died July 28, 2012 at the age of 91, in Colville, where she resided these last several years.
Jeanne d’Arc Ollie Marguerite Hebert, always known as Joanne, was born October 12, 1920 in Philadelphia, PA, the middle of three children. Her family moved to California when she was an infant and she grew up on her family’s San Mateo estate “Villa Lucia.” Her interests growing up were horseback riding, sailing, fishing, as well as duck and upland bird hunting. She once shared a hunter’s lunch, in the field, with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard! She danced to the Big Bands, was one of the first to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge on the day it opened, and competed in rodeos and regattas.
In 1940, she eloped with Joseph Nelson. Their marriage produced two children, JoAnne and Charles. They later divorced and she raised the children as a single mom for many years in California, working hard to provide them with everything she could afford. Feeling the need to start fresh in a new place, she moved to Spokane, WA in 1951. On a blind date arranged by friends, she met Louis Hughes, a Captain in the USAF, stationed at Fairchild AFB. Three months later, on October 3, 1953, they were married at Fairchild. This marriage made an instant family, which was later increased with the births of Roger, Mary Elizabeth, Randy and Leslie. Sadly, both Mary and Randy died at birth.
Joanne took to being a military wife with a passion, not always an easy job! She thoroughly enjoyed the travel and new friends they made at the various bases across the United States, as well as keeping the home fires burning while Dad was posted overseas, many times for months on end. The family moved frequently and at every base, Mom was involved with organizations such as the Red Cross, Officer’s Wives’ Clubs, garden clubs, AAUW, museums and programs for special needs children. When Lou retired in 1970 and they bought a house, she happily decorated their now-permanent “quarters” with lots of color and flair, a reaction to the required no-colored walls rules of on-base military housing. Her frightening choice of patterned wallpaper in the kitchen will never be forgotten by the family!
Mom loved to garden and her beautiful gardens were well-known by friends and family wherever she lived. She maintained a lifelong interest of the indigenous people of the US. She was one of the first docents at Spokane’s Museum of Native American Cultures and so enjoyed introducing museum guests to the history of the First Peoples. She was active with the local and national politics, several times being a representative at state political conventions. For many years, she worked at the polls as an election worker.
Joanne saw silent actress Colleen Moore’s dollhouse when she was a child and this ingrained a lifelong love of miniatures. She began building dollhouses and their furnishings when she was in her 50s. Any small item was always worth a second look as the possibilities for use in a dollhouse! Whether it was buttons, bottle tops or porcupine quills, she could see something “usefully miniature” in it. Her fabulous self-made dollhouse can be seen at the Colville Historical Society’s Keller House Museum. She donated the large, two-part house to the museum in 2007, after she moved into Colville, hoping others would enjoy viewing it as much as she had creating it.
Her curiosity and love of travel took her many places. She and “Guv” (as she nicknamed Dad) cruised to Alaska, visited Ireland, Scotland, England, most of the Canadian provinces and, her very favorite locale, Egypt. This was as a surprise trip from Dad and gave reality to her dream of a lifetime. They loved that trip and those memories she never forgot. She and youngest daughter, Leslie, traveled together, as well, visiting Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Russia, as well as their many “road trips” throughout Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and California. They also spent several weeks each year, for several years, on their favorite island in the Bahamas. All of these trips together were such fun and all filled with laughter and precious memories.
Other life pursuits were an incredible love of reading anything historical, maps of all types, bird-watching, shell collecting, anything
chocolate and everything to do with Egypt.
Mom enjoyed remarkably good health her entire life until a stroke took her short-term memory in 2006. Her body suffered no serious consequences from the stroke, but recent memories faded quickly. This didn’t faze her, however, and her sense of humor never wavered. She was always quick to laugh at a joke, to poke fun at herself and ready to try new things. Her last years were spent in Colville at Parkview Senior Living and Pinewood Terrace, minutes away from her
daughter Leslie, son-in-law Tom and her beloved grandson Graham.
After 55 years of marriage, Mom was widowed in 2008, when Dad died at their home in Spokane. Holding her memory in their hearts are her daughter and son-in-law Leslie and Tom Shuhda, in Colville; daughter and son-in-law, Joby and Spence Garrett, Antrim, NH; son and daughter-in-law, Chuck and Vicky Hughes, Tiburon, CA; son and daughter-in-law, Roger and Lina Hughes, Spokane, WA.
Mom has six grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Her closest grandson, Graham, will miss his “Monee” incredibly. The wonderful memories of all their times spent together, and the dreams they shared with each other, are held in his heart forever.
Her beloved niece, Michele and her son, Michael, were especially dear to Mom. Their thoughtfulness, many kindnesses and constant love, especially in these last years, were bright stars in her life. Thank you both for always being there.
Mom is survived, too, by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jarvis and Jesse Hughes, in Maryland. They’ve shared the ups and downs of these many years and have been of such loving support. She knew your love.
Though some of Mom’s dear friends have already gone before her, there are still many left, geographically distant, but always close at heart: Bob and Carol, Herb and Sandy, Billie S., Chris and Alan, Val W., Dick and Margo and Paula S. She was proud to call you friends! And, to the many new friends she made in Colville, merchants and others, we say thank you for making her a part of this community.
The staff and residents at Spokane’s Fairwood Retirement Village and Colville’s Parkview Senior Living provided Mom’s last years with gracious living and lots of fun. She truly enjoyed her time at both locations! We are very grateful, too, to the staff at Pinewood Terrace for their support and gentle ways with Mom and their gifts of gentleness, dignity and so many smiles. Thank you, for all your kindness.
Respecting Mom’s wishes, there will be no services. Her ashes will be with Dad, in the family plot in Colville.
In lieu of flowers, any donations may be made to the Resident Funds at Parkview Senior Living and Pinewood Terrace Nursing Center in Colville, to help those lovely residents enjoy outings and activities.
Goodbye, Mom. We love you so much and you will always be with us.
DANEKAS FUNERAL CHAPEL & CREMATORY, 155 W. FIRST AVE., COLVILLE, WA is entrusted with the arrangements.