Mary “Joan” Edwards was born in Riverside, California to Jack and Marion Butcher. She passed away at the age of 88 on October 12, 2023 in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Joan’s early years were growing up around her family, grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and her brother, John Butcher, and her dear sister, Jean Cowan, in sunny California.
Joan was married to her high school sweetheart, Hal, for 69 years. They had three children, Kathleen Clark, Robert Edwards, and Wendy Dawdy; and six grandchildren, Ian and Marion Clark, Pat, Daniel, and Collin Anderson, and Kyle Edwards. Joan enjoyed reaching out to all of her relatives over the years, while she traveled, as an Air Force wife. She was very close with her family, even though they lived in different places. It was her pleasure to reunite with them when she could. She enjoyed her niece, Kristin Peck, and six nephews Ryan Cowan, Mark, Mike, Matt, Jeff and Marty Strosnider.
She had told her husband that she wanted to be a homemaker and she was, culminating many talents and hobbies along the way. When the family moved to Panama she would become quite active in the Orchid Society, where she took many trips with her group into the jungles to find rare species and learn about the flora and fauna of Central America. It was there that she taught her children about nature, sharing her knowledge of seashells, parrots, butterflies and the beauty that surrounded them.
After returning to the United States, she worked outside the home, part time, selling Avon door to door. She also worked as an “in-store” demonstrator, introducing new products to customers. She worked for a local dentist in Grants Pass, teaching fun ways to brush teeth to small children, and proper dental hygiene. Joan also worked for a local photographer, skillfully editing images of photographs. She worked for a time at a local grade school in the special needs classrooms. Above all, Joan loved to volunteer for many groups, including Hospice, and would often care for her elderly friends and neighbors.
She belonged to the Grants Pass Garden Club and her ladies group, called “The Health’s Angels”. These women were dedicated to Christ and they enjoyed healthy activities such as hiking, biking, prayer meetings and many tea parties and luncheons. She studied with a Porcelain painting group, locally, and became quite accomplished at painting many plates and vessels.
Her friendships culminated throughout her lifetime as she traveled to many parts of the world with her husband. They belonged to many church choirs. She loved to sing and knew all the old hymns by heart. She was a strong Christian and believed in the word of God, written in the Bible. She shared her beliefs with others by spreading love and kindness to everyone, sometimes going out of her way, to make sure that they were cared for physically and spiritually.
Joan had a love for books and would be reading instead of watching television. She was a naturalist and gardener at heart. Her vegetable garden was usually filled with edibles tucked in between flowers and berries, squashes and “Rolly-Pollies”. Her love of birds, insects, trees and flowers were inspiring to everyone. She spent many a day going through periodicals and magazines looking for special recipes that she could create for family and friends. When others would come to visit, it was obvious that she loved to cook. Her kitchen was a magical place with every kitchen gadget ever made!
Above all, Joan will be remembered for her gift giving and always remembering Birthdays, holidays and sending cards of cheer.
Joan is survived by her sister, Jean Cowan; daughters, Kathleen Clark and Wendy Dawdy; grandsons, Pat, Daniel and Collin Anderson; niece, Kristin Peck; nephews, Ryan Cowan, Mark, Jeff and Marty Strosnider. Along with many other extended family members.
Devoted mother, wife and friend. She left this world to join the others before her in Heaven. She left quietly but with a huge heart filled with love for everyone and hymns to the end.
Joan’s Victory service will be at:
Our Savior Lutheran Church
230 Buysman Way, Grants Pass, Oregon
Date: November 7, 2023
Time: 11:00 AM
Inurnment will immediately follow the service at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Grants Pass
Please share a memory of Joan in her Guestbook below.