JoAnn Lauer, 88, of Kelso, WA went to be with her Lord Wednesday, May 11 in Longview, WA. She was born June 2, 1933 in Waynesville, IL to Arthur and Mary Wilkins Hagan. She married Frank Lauer January 3, 1953 in Mason City, IL.
She is survived by two daughters, Glenda of Kelso, Karen (Mike) Matson of Kelso, and one son Greg (Phoebe) of Taiwan. She had four grandchildren and two great grandchildren, and was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her brother, Glen. JoAnn spent her early years in Easton, IL, where she graduated from high school. She attended Lakeview School of Nursing in Danville, IL, but returned to Easton prior to finishing her training to help her mother after her father's sudden death.
After their marriage, Frank and JoAnn made their home in Lincoln, IL, where they raised their three children. She worked at Christian Nursing Home in Lincoln as a CNA (certified nursing assistant), then as Activities Assistant. She loved working with the elderly and was honored numerous times by CNH for her outstanding work. At Faith Assembly of God Church in Lincoln, she was a Sunday School teacher and a self-taught organist. JoAnn had a beautiful voice, and sang with two different trios that regularly performed in area churches and also as soloist at local weddings and other church functions.
She was a volunteer at the Faith Center Food Bank in Kelso for nearly 30 years. JoAnn was famous for her lifelong love of cats, and she enjoyed attending Portland Trailblazer games with her daughter Karen and her family. For many years, she was an early-morning Mall Walker at Three Rivers Mall. JoAnn was an excellent cook, and never lost her zest for trying out new recipes. She loved doing crossword puzzles to keep her mind sharp, and she continued to manage the family farm back in Illinois until the end of her life.
She survived typhoid as a child, and a life-threatening subdermal hematoma and two bouts with cancer as an adult. As her husband developed dementia over the last few years of his life, JoAnn was at his side every step of the way. Through it all, she never lost her infectious laugh, beaming smile, and radiant joy.
JoAnn loved and honored the Lord, and understood that eternal life in heaven is only given to those who trust in Christ's finished work of atonement and that alone for the forgiveness of sin. Throughout her life, she devoted herself to doing what Christ did—serving others.
JoAnn was a beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, and there were few things she loved more than family get-togethers. JoAnn was precious to her entire family, and will be deeply missed by all who knew her. We will always love you, Mom, and we are greatly comforted by the fact that you are in the presence of the loving God you served throughout your entire life.
Visitation will be May 25 from 10AM to 5PM at Dahl McVicker in Kelso. A Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, May 26 at 1PM at Faith Center Church Kelso with pastor Jerry Dahlke officiating. Burial will take place at Green Hills cemetery in Kelso.
Dahl McVicker is in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Center Food Bank, 1209 Minor Rd., Kelso, WA.