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Joanne Marie (Houseward) VanDenend
November 7, 1951 ~ October 8, 2023 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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VanDenend, Joanne Marie Houseward (November 7, 1951 - October 8, 2023)| Joanne Marie VanDenend passed away peacefully being cared for by her loving husband, Gary VanDenend, and her devoted daughter, Teresa VanDenend on Sunday, October 8, 2023. Born on November 7, 1951 in Abington, Pennsylvania, Joanne spent her childhood in the Midwest. Joanne attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
While at Calvin, Joanne met and married her husband of 51 years Gary VanDenend, in the lunch line in their freshman year. After they were married, they moved to Minnesota where Joanne received her degree in Occupational Therapy. After graduation, they traveled intrepidly around the United States – all the way to the end of the road in Alaska – in a truck with a pop up camper.
In 1980, Gary and Joanne moved to Stavanger, Norway where all three of their children were born. Joanne made lots of friendships with her neighbors and other members of the community in Stavanger. Each year at Christmas back in the States, she kept the influence of their time in Norway alive by making the famous Norwegian almond cake, Kransekage.
Joanne and Gary left Norway in 1988 and ultimately settled in Ripley, Ohio. All her life, Joanne cared deeply for others. For her career, Joanne served as an Occupational Therapist in Adams, Brown, and Mason counties for many years. Outside of work, Joanne was an artistic and creative person who enjoyed practicing various forms of art throughout her life – from painting, to jewelry making, to sewing, to playing french horn and piano, to directing childrens' plays. She loved children and she was grateful to the Lord for blessing her with three children, and later her four grandchildren.
Additionally, Joanne volunteered in a variety of roles during her adult life. As the daughter of a Christian Reformed minister, she had a deep faith and loved serving at her church, Beebe Chapel in Ripley, Ohio. She also shared her love of music by playing the piano during services. Over the years, Joanne led Bible study, youth group, and was a member of the Missionary Society. She even fearlessly led groups of young people to the Christian festival, Ichthus, multiple years in a row.
Joanne was well known for her spirit of hospitality. She was a loving and generous host, welcoming all into her home, which was a safe place for many. It didn't matter who someone was or where they came from, Joanne would welcome them with warm and open arms, feed them a meal, and listen to their story. She was a fantastic cook and would gladly serve up her famous dishes when hosting. Her beloved recipes included Snow on the Mountain, pot roast, her special spaghetti, and life-changing carrot cake.
Joanne was the wife of Gary Edward VanDenend for fifty-one and a half wonderful years. Joanne was the daughter of Rev. John and Trudy Houseward (deceased); sister to Tim (Ellen) Houseward, Jonathan Houseward (deceased), Evalynn Houseward (deceased), and Sister-in-law to Barb (Nick) Weeber. She had three children who she loved deeply: son Rev. Nathaniel Edward VanDenend (Crystal), daughter Teresa Joy Marie VanDenend Sorge (James), and son Jon Andreas VanDenend (Allison). She was blessed with four grandchildren, twins Ashlyn and Tristen, and siblings Josephine and Wesley.
The VanDenend family offers their sincerest thanks to all of Joanne's caregivers, especially Amy, Bobbi, and Tammara. Their love and care for Joanne enabled her to have a wonderful last few years at home.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Cahall Funeral Home in Ripley, Ohio. The funeral service will be on Friday, October 13, 2023, at 11:00 am at Cahall Funeral Home in Ripley, Ohio. Interment to follow at Red Oak Cemetery. Rev. James Settles will officiate.
Contributions in memory of Joanne may be made to the Scholarship Fund at Beebe Chapel in Ripley, Ohio, or to Dawn Treader Christian School in Patterson, New Jersey.