Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Missing Aunt JoAnne...

Hi, this is Stephanie, Xia and Isa's Mommy here. I have a heavy heart because my Aunt JoAnne Peterson passed away unexpectedly on Monday 10/5/09. We had just seen her on Saturday 10/3/09 at my cousin's engagement party. She was vibrant and full of life that day. I guess you never know when God is going to come and knock at your door. Though I know she is in that wonderful Kingdom we are all striving to get to, it is still hard for those of us left behind.

JoAnne was the 2nd child of 12 in the Orendorff bunch. My mother was number 6. She had five children and they now have 12 children - so that's 12 grandkids. I am so grateful for the Peterson homestead because I really grew up there with my extended family. All throughout my childhood the family would gather at Aunt JoAnne's house for summer weekend cookouts, Christmas Eve parties and hosts of other occasions. All of the brothers and sisters who lived nearby would come with their spouses and all of their kids. I grew up with all of my cousins playing and having so much fun at the Petersons. We would stay all day and then all of us kids would fall asleep in a heap on the living room floor. One by one the parents would gather us up in the wee hours of the night to travel home to our beds, sleeping in the car. Or we would just stay over night and JoAnne never cared. She fed us all and got us to church too!

JoAnne was also very involved with the Girl Scouts and that's why I became one myself. We would go to camp Cherry Hill every summer and I learned so much singing around the camp fires and sliding down a massive water slide. Using a sit-upon and mess kit. Making pancakes over a fire on the bottom of and upside down coffee can. So many wonderful memories.

Oh, and was she ever crafty! She could sew, knit, crochet, make any kind of craft you can imagine. She was always doing something with her hands. Many a Christmas tree ornament that I pull out each year was made with love by JoAnne. I have a beautiful baby blanket that she made for Xia that I just love. Also a cross stitched picture in a frame for Xia. She was working on something for Isa too.

JoAnne ran a day care at which I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore college years working. Boy, talk about a time of learning. I'm using a lot of those lessons now in raising my own kids. Having that job over the summer helped me to save part of the money to get me back to college for my second year. I'm so grateful for that.

She was also very involved with the Catholic Church in her area. She was a lector and kept all of the altar linens clean and made a lot of them too. What a wonderful service to her faith.

I sure am going to miss Aunt JoAnne. She was only 68 years old. May God Bless her soul as she rests in His arms. Her husband, Pete, who died when he was so very young, is now with her again. There is much peace and happiness knowing this.

Here are some pictures from our last family reunion to share with you...

Aunt JoAnne:

Aunt JoAnne with her most of her family:

Aunt JoAnne with the WHOLE Orendorff bunch:


  1. So sorry for your loss, she sounds like a wonderful woman.
    Rebecca in Michigan

  2. Thanks Rebecca. Just got back from the trip home for the funeral. It was all sad but very beautiful too. Great to see everyone and remember her with those I love.

  3. I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your loss. Knowing Aunt JoAnne is in a better place I know helps some...