Having always been unusually interested in things of a spiritual nature, Joanne was a very active Presbyterian girl. At the age of twelve, she was asked to play piano for Sunday School. She participated in Youth Fellowship, sang in the choir, played duets and solos, substituted for the church organist and, during summer months, accompanied her minister, Rev. Felty of The First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs, Michigan, to Cross Village each Sunday Evening.
He preached a sermon to the little congregation there and Joanne played the ancient, pump organ. Joanne was always inquisitive and her minister loved to explain the gospel to her. Most of her questions were centered around family.
After she married, Joanne and Arnold moved down state to Mount Pleasant, Michigan for Arnold to attend college at Central Michigan. One day two missionaries, Elder Terry Peterson and Elder Lloyd Shirley, were tracting their trailer court. It was a rainy, cold afternoon and they were disheartened that no one was interested in their message so they were about to head on home, when one of them said, “Just one more door.”
Joanne answered that door and let them in.
Joanne asked them some of the questions she had asked Rev. Felty before and felt she agreed with some of their answers, so she studied with them for a while and after a bit she decided it was her desire to join this church. Her husband wasn’t as convinced yet. But he liked seeing the young children in the Jr. Sunday School be able to give talks in public. He thought that would be a good thing for his children to be able to learn to do and not be shy as he had been when he was younger. Joanne was baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints on her 20th birthday by, “her Elders”.Since that time, much of her time and effort was put into building and supporting that organization.
Arnold soon joined the church and they raised all 12 of their children in the church. Joanne played the piano and organ wherever they moved, Michigan, Florida and Utah. She served in many callings from teacher of young children to leadership positions in the female Relief Society and everything in between. Joanne wrote and directed Road Shows, taught people how to do genealogy and as a highlight in her mind, she served a stake mission with her eternal companion. She loved being the unofficial mom to the missionaries wherever she lived.
Joanne was an honorable handmaiden