Joanne DeMeyer

Obituary of Joanne Glee DeMeyer

Joanne Glee DeMeyer was born March 12, 1935, in Salmon, Idaho, to Marion and Gladys Smith.  Her final day was May 19, 2023, after a short struggle with pancreatic cancer at home in Lacey, Washington, with her husband and children at her side.

Joanne grew up on her parents’ cattle ranch near Salmon, where much of the work was done traditionally by using horses.  She had a way with horses and other animals and was involved with local rodeo during her high school years.  After graduation (1953), while attending the University of Idaho at Moscow, she met John R. DeMeyer, a young forestry student.  They were married September 4, 1954, and enjoyed 68 years together, raising their three children in Western Washington, where John worked for the State Department of Natural Resources and was ultimately stationed in Olympia.  Joanne enjoyed meeting people and was a natural to sell Avon products in the area, the proceeds of which she donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  She also worked for the State as an Auditor for the Department of Social and Health Services until retiring in 1990.

Living and raising their children on Patterson Lake fostered her family’s love of the water and boating.  John and Joanne became avid sailors.  They were both very active in the Olympia Yacht Club and South Sound Sailing Society.  They spent 30 happy summers cruising their sailboat(s) up north into British Columbia and Alaska, often accompanied by family and friends.  Joanne actively raced on her sailboat when they were home.

Joanne was known for her love of cooking and prepared many delicious meals for her friends and family.  She had a “green thumb,” which she mainly applied to flower gardening.  Another passion of hers involved 57 years of service to the community through the Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority.   She was president of the Alpha Chi chapter in 1989-90, when she was also named their “Woman of the Year” for 1990.  She had a knack for style and dressed fashionably for whatever the occasion.  And, she did love to dance and always appreciated a good party. 

Joanne is survived by her husband, John R. DeMeyer; children, John E. DeMeyer, Linda J. Reiners, and Lisa A. Letcher; as well as her three grandchildren; and her sister, Alcie Oaks.

A Celebration of Life event in her memory is scheduled for Friday, June 23, 2023, 3:00 p.m. at the Olympia Yacht Club, 201 Simmons St. NW, Olympia, WA 98501.  She will be interred at Masonic Memorial Park in Tumwater, Washington. 

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