Joanne Patricia Thorndike passed away on December 7, 2020 in Corvallis, Oregon. She was born in 1939 in Mount Vernon, Washington.
She made her home in Oroville, Washington, having moved there in 1961.
Joanne was preceded in death by her spouse, Robert J. Thorndike in 2007 after almost 46 years of marriage and by her three siblings, Marianne (Ken) Davis of Puyallup, Washington, Robert (Karin) Baumgardner of Issaquah, Washington and Steven (Peg) Baumgardner of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Joanne is survived by her two children, son, Todd Thorndike of Mt. Vernon and daughter, Jill Popowski (Tom) of Corvallis and by her four grandchildren, Tyler Thorndike, Alexa Thorndike, Mathew Popowski and Lindsay Popowski.
Joanne grew up in Renton, Washington in tough times when the family struggled to make ends meet. Despite this, Joanne found a way to make extra money on the side (stripping Cascara tree bark from the woods) to save up to buy and care for a much desired horse. She even made her own fencing by scavenging and cutting timber in the nearby woods and convinced her siblings to help in the process. Joanne may have even cut a few high school classes to enjoy a sunny day riding her horse.
She would always make the best of a situation and just move forward when things didn’t go as planned. This positive and pragmatic outlook was demonstrated when she developed rheumatic fever as a teen and was mostly bedridden at home for many months. During this time, she taught herself how to play the guitar and developed her artistic skills. She became adept at sketching and drawing with pastels and pencil and later in life made cards from her sketches of animals and nature scenes.
Joanne worked hard throughout her life for the things that she cherished: her family, friends and her horses. She looked forward to visits from her two children and from her grandchildren during the year, spending time teaching the grandkids to ride and feed the horses, or taking a dip in the pool. Everyone that knew her also knew that she loved her horses and her horse ranch, nestled at the base of Mount Hull, where she enjoyed seeing the mountain sheep and other wildlife. Joanne loved living up in Oroville with Bob, away from the big city, where she had close relationships with many dear friends over the past 60 years.
Joanne will be missed by the many whose lives she touched and fondly remembered for her mischievous nature, sense of humor, kindness, compassion, internal strength and fortitude and her overall good nature. Most of us will remember her as a horse-woman and will picture her wearing her cowboy hat and boots. Her children will miss the Mother, the friend, and the amazing role model.
Joanne went out of this world probably the way she would have wanted – with her cowboy boots on, walking through a field into the sunset.
The world has lost a very special soul.
No funeral or memorial service is currently planned due to the COVID pandemic.