JoAnn Louise Roberts, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2023, in Gig Harbor, Washington. She leaves an indelible mark on her family, friends and her community.
JoAnn was born on July 3, 1940, in Great Falls, Montana to Lui and Johanna Salina, the eldest of three children. She graduated from Great Falls Central Catholic high school and received her degree in education from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
While attending Gonzaga, JoAnn met her husband, Ron, as a result of a blind date. Ron persistently pursued JoAnn until she finally gave in and they became engaged. JoAnn and Ron were married on August 3, 1963 and they remained in Spokane for one year while Ron completed his senior year of law school at Gonzaga while JoAnn taught at Geiger elementary. In 1965, they moved to Fort Riley, Kansas to start Ron’s two year commitment to the U.S. Army as a Military Police officer with the First Infantry Division. When Ron was deployed to Vietnam in August, 1965, JoAnn moved back to Great Falls, Montana with their first son Mark and while pregnant with their second son Matthew.
Following Ron’s discharge from the Army in 1967, they moved to Tacoma, Washington, where Ron practiced law and JoAnn transitioned from managing classrooms of children to managing a growing household that grew to include five active boys. In 1978, they moved to Gig Harbor, where she continued to live in her home on Henderson Bay until her passing.
JoAnn always put family first, followed by her abiding faith in Jesus Christ. She was known for her never-ending patience, kind spirit and loving nature. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many. JoAnn will always be remembered for her willingness to share a laugh and lend a helping hand. JoAnn was the heart and soul of the Roberts family.
JoAnn's infectious spirit and love of life were apparent in everything she did. She and the other three members of her bridge group would travel annually to different fun locations, always in the sun, to play bridge and enjoy each other’s company. She was also a proud, long-standing member of the Catholic Women's Club. She enjoyed socializing with friends and family, often hosting parties and gatherings at her home.
JoAnn never faltered, even during the multiple instances when she was diagnosed with cancer. The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Frank Senecal, who provided JoAnn with exceptional if not extraordinary care that allowed them 23 wonderful years of life with JoAnn while she was living with cancer. We credit his knowledge, expertise and compassion to not only extending JoAnn’s time with us but making those years one of joy and laughter.
She is deeply missed by all who knew her and especially her family. JoAnn is survived by her husband, Ron Roberts; five sons and daughters-in-law: Mark (Joan) Roberts, Matt (Jane) Roberts, Greg (Lynne) Roberts, Ben (Jennifer) Roberts, and Adam (Melanie) Roberts, as well as eleven grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Nancy Brown, of North Hollywood, CA, and her brother Bill (Jo) Salina, of Great Falls, Montana.
JoAnn’s life will be celebrated by a recitation of the Rosary at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th and Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, March 20, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 7112 S. 12th Street, Tacoma, WA. A private burial at Haven of Rest in Gig Harbor will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that consideration be given to a contribution to The Roberts Family Endowment at Bellarmine Preparatory School, 2300 S. Washington St., Tacoma, WA. 98405, or a charity of your choice. JoAnn's love and kindness will be felt by many for years to come and she will forever be remembered as a shining example of love and grace.
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