Joan Lucile Stack passed away peacefully at her home on August 18, 2018. Joan will be remembered for her indomitable spirit, her readiness for adventure, and the love and support she gave to her family throughout her life.
Born in Colorado Springs to Otto Jensen & Vera Marie Jensen, Joan went to school in Colorado Springs (Home of The Terrors) and attended Colorado University in Boulder. She met her husband, Robert (Bob), at a college dance, fell in love, and started the adventure of married life, which was to last more than 69 years.
Following her husband’s job as a geologist with Carter Oil, Joan moved several times early in their marriage. Cathy, their first daughter was born in Denver, Colorado, followed by Jim in Urbana, Illinois. In 1952, they moved to Bob’s home town of Cut Bank, Montana where he joined his father in the construction business. Daughter Laurie was born there several years later.
In 1967, Joan opened her own business, bringing beautiful craft projects, as well as art and knitting supplies to the Cut Bank community. She ran her craft store as well as the drapery department and the picture framing side of Bob’s Cut Bank Building Service during the day, and taught craft classes in the evenings. Her talent for interior décor is evidenced in her children’s homes.
Joan was active in many facets of the Cut Bank community as an enthusiastic golfer, Girl Scout Leader, and co-leader of Presbyterian Vacation Bible School. She was an avid member of PEO, an International philanthropic & educational organization for women, and was a founding member of Chapter AW in Cut Bank. She served in all the offices of PEO and was honored for her 50 years of membership. Jo was a ready chaperone for kids’ adventures taking her share of hard knocks in stride, including a challenging pack trip through the Belly River country of Glacier with a youth group from her church.
Always up for an adventure, Joan learned to ski, and she raised all three children on the slopes of Big Mountain in Whitefish. Bob and Joan enjoyed many summers at their cabin on Whitefish Lake, and she taught many children (and some reluctant adults) how to water ski on Whitefish Lake. She loved periodic hikes in the mountains of Glacier Park to favorite spots including Sperry & Granite Park chalets.
After her youngest went to college, Joan and Bob made their home in the beautiful Flathead Valley, building a house in Kalispell. She continued her church activities, becoming a church Elder, and with Bob, helping to renovate the basement of the Kalispell Presbyterian Church. The move to Kalispell gave her cherished time with her beloved grandchildren, Chris and Libby Hetrick. She took them to many after school events in “Grandma’s talking car”, cooked wonderful meals for the whole family and even built lizard terrariums when duty called.
Travel was also a favorite activity in the years after Bob & Joan retired. In the early days of cruising, they saw the world via cruise ships and other trips to remote locations including Yugoslavia, Istanbul, Figi, Russia, Hong Kong, and Mazatlan. She told stories of drinking Russian vodka with the locals and clinging to the rickety railroad car on the way up the mountainside to Machu Picchu. With the help of a beautiful motor home, they took extended trips to see the US and Canada from coast to coast. Mom had a great eye and talent for capturing wonderful photos along the way.
Joan was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and brother, and Stan Jensen, and nephew Michael Jensen. She is survived by children, Catherine (and Doug) Hetrick, James (and Lisa) Stack, and Laurie Stack (and Spencer Arnot); grandchildren, Christopher (and Kali) Hetrick and Libby (and Matt) Smith; and great-grandchildren, Andrew and Aurora Hetrick, and Tristan and Riley Smith. She is also survived by nieces and nephews, Virginia Phenicie Thilmany, Maureen Phenicie Humes, Kevin Jensen and Chris Jensen.
The family is very grateful for the beautiful facilities, attentive care and wonderful meals provided by the Buffalo Hills Terrace for the last 6 years, and the attentive and loving care provided by Home Options Hospice and Agape Home Care during the last months of her life.
A memorial celebration of Jo’s life will be held at 10:00am on Friday, August 31st in the Buffalo Room at Buffalo Hill Terrace, 40 Claremont Street, Kalispell, with Pastor Larry Stappler officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Buffalo Hill Terrace of Kalispell, or a charity of your choice.