Joanne N Saunders


Joanne the Love of My Life

By husband Ted Saunders

February 18, 2015



Joanne N Saunders, 81, died peacefully in her sleep on February 16, 2015 in Covington, Washington.

Mom and the Boys

I first met Joanne at a Feast of Tabernacles gathering in 1966 in Squaw Valley California.  Since I lived in Helena, Montana and she lived in Seattle, Washington; we exchanged mailing addresses and began writing frequent eager letters back and forth.  The following spring we met in Spokane where I proposed marriage to her.  She accepted and set Oct 12, 1967 as the date.  That marriage was to last 47 years until 11:30 AM on February 16 when she died in the faith.  She retired from working in various office jobs and became a full time homemaker.  I believe full time devotion at home is one major reason our marriage lasted so long.Mom at work


I had grown up in Montana but decided to move to Seattle to live near her many friendly relatives.  We continued attending the feasts every fall in various places including California, Florida and once 20 years ago to Hawaii.


In 1998 she was found to have a bacterial (nocardia) infection in two of her lower back vertebra.  The doctors cut away the infected parts and put a cage with ground bone from her leg to fuse that part of the spine together.  The hospital stay of two month including having to wear a turtle shell like brace daily for several months afterwards had a profound effect because so many people she never knew were so kind to her.  She started sharing little jokes with them and got many to sign their names and addresses in a diary she kept on the happenings.


She revived her writing of snail mail to many of the people she met and eagerly looked forward to a flood of personal letters, which came back.  Since that time the Internet became wide spread but she stuck to personal handwriting of encouragement and friendly chat to as many as she could.  It became her labor of love, which she extended to as many who had the patience to do the same. She enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading, visiting with friends, meeting new people, watching sports football and especially baseball.


We went to the hospital almost daily where I would push her in a wheel chair to appointments and to the cafeteria.  WeMother's Day 2013made many new friends that way.  The last 6 weeks it was decided by the doctors that they could not safely repair her heart valve which was failing.  She repeatedly said she wanted to go home so Katey our youngest daughter took her into her home and Joanne was able to die peacefully and gave up her spirit into the Father’s hands to keep until the resurrection.  We have lived a life like sheep in God’s care……..


Joanne is survived by myself (her husband), her sister Dorothy and her husband Dale, her daughter Nancy, her daughter Katey, and her two grandson’s Christopher and Justin.


15 Responses to “Joanne N Saunders”

  • Kelly Irvin says:

    A beautiful testimony to the memory of Joanne, Ted. My thoughts are with you, and I pray for your encouragement and strength.

  • Frank B says:

    Sorry for the loss of your dear loved one Joanne. May the peace God gives sustain your family during this difficult time. Lean on one another as the days ahead become too hard to bear alone. Share your memories, they will be a source of joy. Seeing the promises in God’s Word the Bible will help you to gain strength and fortify your hearts, granting you comfort. (2 Thessalonians 2:16,17; Revelation 21:3,4.)

  • Patty Sexton says:

    The tribute to Joanne is beautiful. It is obvious she was a wonderful woman by the legacy she leaves with her family. We have grown to love Chris, Justin and Katey and know that her influence was great on them. Thank you for sharing this tribute.

  • Jenny Hanahan says:

    That’s beautiful, Ted, and only knowing her through notes and such that she and I shared through mail, I got just that sense of her as you write of her. Ralph and I, both pray for peace and comfort for you and your family.

  • Larry Hardison says:

    A worthy tribute to Joanne – wife – mother – friend – servant – and sister of our Savior.

    In this tribute we have learned even more to appreciate her and yourself, Ted. Thank you for sharing your precious memories of her with us. May our Father watch over you and the family during this time.

  • Miles Black says:

    I am a friend of katy. The dedication was great. God bless her mother. May she lives throughout all of your hearts for all of time.

  • Marshelle Rodin says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I never knew Joanne, but I know her/your daughter Katey. And if Katey is anything like her mother, she was an amazing mother and an awesome friend.

    Until you meet again, may you find peace and love in the family she has left in your care.

  • Leslie Iverson Jones says:

    Truly sorry for your loss. May the Lord bless and comfort your family.

  • Lee Taylor says:

    Sorry for your lose.

  • Yacky Traci says:

    Ted and family-

    We were sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. Our heartfelt sympathy for you and your family.

    This was a beautiful testimony you wrote about your wife and your life together.


  • Cristine Goethals says:

    Beautifully said Mr. Saunders. I remember Joanne to be a very friendly and positive lady, I remember her always smiling. Whenever I was a guest at the Saunders home, Joanne was always so hospitable and always had Katey’s and my favorite things to eat ready for us! I know her family including her grandsons loved her so much, she will be greatly missed. I pray for God’s comfort and peace for the family as well as a clear memory of all the cherished times they had with Joanne.

  • Alexes Settle says:

    Katey, Chris, Justin- Beautiful tribute to Joanne. I remember going to the cabins with Joanne,Ted,and you guys and having so much fun. I hope you can find comfort in knowing you’ll be with her again someday. Love you guys.

  • Dorothy Ferguson says:

    To all who knew Joanne, she was able to give a smile and a chuckle to brighten their day. It was a gift both ways. We shall miss her smile, her laugh, her kindness and love, more than we can say. God Bless the Saunder family and those who knew my dear sister.

    Dorothy and Dale

  • Audrey Anderson Clark says:

    Uncle Ted, thank you for this beautiful tribute of Aunt Joanne. I will always remember how Aunt Joanne ‘s smile came from her heart and that her voice was that positive voice during my childhood and during the loss of my husband, Ron…. Her hand written letters were a constant support during that time. The letters were filled with humor, kind and supportive words and a multitude of funny jokes and sayings. How I loved them and I have saved each one of them! I will not forget her laughter and how it would warm us all. I am blessed to have had Aunt Joanne in my life. Mom’s stories of she and the cousins always made me laugh with their Bainbridge Island childhood antics. Most of all I will remember she showed us Christ through how she lived, by sharing joy in her life during both good as well as challenging and difficult times. We have been blessed with Aunt Joanne..

  • Galen Dietz says:

    I met one of the loveliest women in my life this year! In that short time she really touched my heart and I looked forward to seeing her.
    Silly jokes, funny stories and her love of God was always present.
    I visited her in the rehab. center and when I was leaving she felt bad because she had nothing to give me. She dug through her bag and found a birthday card and gave it to me. She felt better after that. That was typical Joanne! Love that lady!

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