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Obituary of Joan Paulette Wienker
Our cherished and extraordinary mother and grandmother, Joan Paulette Wienker, passed away at home on November 4, 2023, in Olympia, Washington, at the age of 93 from pulmonary fibrosis. Joan was born in Seattle, Washington, on January 21, 1930, to Paul S. and Marjorie H. (Ajax) Jorgensen.
In 1936, the family moved to San Francisco, where Joan had fun roller skating around the Marina district, feeding the ducks at the Palace of Fine Arts, and watching the Golden Gate Bridge being built. She was proud to tell the story of how she was the first person to ride a tricycle across the bridge on its opening day in 1937, when it was open only to pedestrians. Her father’s job took the family to Washington, D.C. after World War II ended. They all disliked the weather, so it wasn’t long before a transfer back to Seattle was arranged. Joan graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1947. While walking home from school with a friend one winter, she met a handsome young man named Clive Wienker when he threw a snowball at her to get her attention. They quickly fell in love and got engaged. Joan moved back to San Francisco with her parents and attended San Mateo Junior College while Clive finished his degree at the University of Washington. It was a difficult two years of being apart, with only occasional visits. Upon his graduation in 1949, they were married in Burlingame, California, and began their 67-year love-filled adventure.
Settling in Bellevue, Washington, after starting out in Seattle, they raised their four children in the Lake Hills neighborhood. Joan was a consummate mother and homemaker and an accomplished seamstress. She spoiled her family with a constant supply of homemade cookies and desserts. The family took epic cross-country camping trips, as well as visiting many favorite places throughout the West, creating priceless memories. To pursue their love of sailing, Clive and Joan purchased their first of three sailboats. They spent many happy times on the boat, exploring Puget Sound and the San Juan and Gulf Islands. Their last boat was a sleek 37-footer that they lived on for five years before moving to a house they built on San Juan Island. They loved their island life, but eventually they moved to Olympia, Washington, to be closer to family and their only grandchild.
As empty-nesters, they traveled all over the United States – preferring the back roads – to visit places of great natural beauty as well as to see friends, family, and attend Clive’s annual WWII squadron reunions. Two trips to New Zealand were a highlight. In addition to tending plants with her amazing green thumb, Joan enjoyed quilting and making all kinds of crafts out of fabric. She was a sweet, kind woman whose greatest joy was being with her family. Together, Joan and Clive were devoted, exemplary parents who provided unconditional love to their children and were deeply loved in return. They will be missed more than words can express.
Joan was predeceased by her husband, Clive, in 2016; and her son-in-law, Gene Tillett. She is survived by her daughters, Janine Moss, Rochelle Tillett, and Laurie Manning (Dan Tripp); her son, Grant Wienker (Akiko Kagawa); granddaughter, Hayley Tillett; and brother, Leon Jorgensen (Claire).
At her wish, there will be no service.
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