Joann Phinney

Joann Phinney

Joann Phinney

Joann Phinney was born on July 20, 1947 to Ken and Maggie Roediger in Celina, Ohio.


In the spring of 1948, Joann’s family moved to Texas where her father worked in the custom combining business.  Each year, they would travel north following the wheat harvest in the western plains states of Texas, Colorado and Wyoming.


Joann’s father also became a minister.  Her dad would do combining during the day and preach evenings at revivals.  Joann accepted Christ as a young girl.  She and her two sisters became a singing trio and performed at the revivals.32


In 1956, the harvest took the family further north to Shelby, Montana.  When her dad was asked to pastor the local church, Joann’s family settled in Shelby.  She spent the remainder of her youth living there and graduated from high school in 1965.  Wanting to be a nurse, she entered Montana State University that fall.  There she met Gary to whom she was married on August 18, 1967.


Gary finished his degree in 1968 and immediately entered the Air Force.  Joann left college after attending for two years.  They moved to San Antonio, TX, then to Mississippi, Ohio, Okinawa, the Philippines, Oregon, back to Mississippi, Illinois, Norway, the Netherlands, and finally McChord AFB, WA in 1988.  They remained in the Lakewood area of Tacoma until 2001 when they moved to Mill Creek, WA.  They immediately started attending Canyon Hills Community church.  While there, Joann re-committed her life to Christ and was baptized again.


Along the way, three daughters were born.  Heather was born in 1971 in Ohio, Tamara in 1973 in the Philippines, and Rachel in 1983 in Norway.


On December 4, 2012, Joann suffered a massive stroke and subsequently passed away on December 10th to continue her life journey to heaven.


Joann is survived by her husband Gary, three daughters–Heather Fisk (Bothell, WA), Tamara Shelton (Kingman, AZ), and Rachel Phinney (Everett, WA), mother Maggie Forwood and step-father Harold (Vancouver, WA), and five grandchildren .  She also has three siblings—Shirley Freeman (Portland, OR), Connie Buechler (Shelby, MT) and Gary Roediger (Dunkirk, MD).


We miss Joann terribly, but have peace knowing that she finished strong as a believer in Jesus Christ.  She truly loved the Lord, loved reading and studying her Bible, loved her family and church, and helped others in so many ways.  Her life will forever be an inspiration and blessing to all.


If you would like to make a donation in remembrance of Joann, please consider one of the following ministries:


  • Jason and Amy Beagle/Kitale Children’s Home

Please make checks payable to:  Northwest Church and mail to 15555 15th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA  98155.  Please do NOT write their names anywhere on the check, but include a separate note indicating funds are for the Beagle mission.  The Beagles are missionaries who oversee an orphanage to help children prosper Educationally, Emotionally, and Eternally.


  • Northwest Compassion Foundation at Canyon Hills Community Church

Please make checks payable to:  Northwest Compassion Foundation and mail to Canyon Hills Community Church at 22027 17th Ave SE, Bothell, WA 98021.  The Northwest Compassion Foundation exists to bring help and hope to those who can’t help themselves by funding Christian ministries that strive to meet the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of our community and beyond.


Interment will be at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA.

3 Responses to “Joann Phinney”

  • Sung M. says:


    I am sadden to hear of your wife’s passing. I pray for your family and your wife in heaven.


  • Brenda OBrien says:

    I am so saddend to hear the passing of Joann, she was such a wonderful person, always ready to share the word with you, I am so thankful she knew our lord in a personal way, She will be greatly missed, but we know she is rejoicing in Heaven with the Angels.

  • April Roediger says:

    We wish we could be near you today. We are praying for you during this difficult time. Joann was more than a sister-in-law. She was a friend to a very young bride. I will miss her greatly. We have the promise of seeing her again in heaven. Our family sends you love and prayers.

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