Joan L. Jackson

Born: Tue., Jul. 18, 1933
Died: Tue., Sep. 1, 2015

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Joan Lorayne Anderson Jackson

July 18, 1933 - September 1, 2015

Resident of San Jose, California


Joan died at home in her sleep at the age of 82.   Born in Brunswick, Minnesota, she was the eldest child of Austin and Esther (Jorgenson or Jorgensen) Anderson.  She was preceded in death by her parents and 3 younger brothers Austin, Donald and Dennis.  She is survived by children Laurie and Steven Powell and Amy Jackson of San Jose, sister Marcia Emerson of Redding, California and many nieces and nephews.  


Joan grew up in Mora, Minnesota and worked in a local restaurant/bakery as a teen.  At Mora High, she was a majorette with the marching band and co-editor of the school paper.   Following graduation, she moved to Minneapolis where she held office jobs before becoming a full-time wife and mother.


She and husband William "Bill or Whitey" Powell of Minneapolis had two children: Laurie and Steven.  William was a fire fighter and former Marine who served in WWII and Korea.  The couple later divorced.  Joan’s second husband, David Jackson of San Jose was an aerospace engineer for Lockheed.  Joan and her children relocated to San Jose in 1970 and the following year, Amy was born.


Joan devoted herself to her children and made sure their lives were enriched with lessons and activities that served their interests and talents: piano, dance and theater for Laurie; Indian Guides, drums, judo and Little League for Steve; baton, dance, piano, voice and horseback riding for Amy.  Joan volunteered as a Girl Scout leader, classroom assistant and even a roadie when Amy joined a band. 


Joan loved to cook and bake for her family.  She made delightful birthday cakes and hosted fun parties.  She sewed beautiful clothing for her children, as well as Laurie's pompom girl uniforms and countless costumes for the girls' dance recitals.  Joan loved home decorating and landscaping, and was always unique and creative in her choices! 


Joan had many interests herself.  As a teen, she amassed a collection of signed movie star photos.  As an adult, she took golf lessons,  bowled with a league and took classes in photography, furniture refinishing, psychology and financial planning.  She loved to learn, and enjoyed reading the paper.  Joan was masterful at shopping sales and using coupons.  She both visited and hosted many garage sales. 


Joan had an extensive record collection, including 78's, 45's and 33's.  She played the cornet, guitar and piano.  Her favorite television genres were news magazines, talent shows and educational programs; she liked the mini-series Cosmos.  Joan followed the daytime drama All My Children for its 40-year run and had great fun discussing it with her mother and daughter, who also watched the show.  Joan was an avid theatergoer; her favorite play was Greater Tuna.  She appreciated fine dining, often with sister Marcia. 


Joan visited Miami, Florida several times and rode the train with her mother, husband Bill and young children to Chicago.  During the summer of 1968, Joan, Laurie and Steve visited National Parks and landmarks in the Western and Southwestern United States on a long and adventurous road trip.  In 1990, Joan joined a 3-week road trip to Key West, Florida and back with her grown daughters.  She and Laurie later traveled to Yosemite to attend a wine-tasting event at The Ahwahnee Hotel.  They ice-skated in view of Half Dome and hiked a ways up Yosemite Falls, where they sat on a ledge and got wet from the spray. 


When husband David passed in 1984, Joan finished raising her children on her own and made sure they all got to college or vocational school.  She was an eloquent guest on a Seattle television talk show when the topic was "being married to someone who works in top security."  When Amy became a police officer, Joan took a course in gun safety for family members, and because she was the fastest in her class to draw and fire a gun, the instructor dubbed her "The Queen of Speed." 


Joan often reminisced about Mora, her classmates and Minnesota friends.  They all meant so much to her.  At her 50th class reunion, she recreated a high school performance in which she impersonated Betty Boop and sang "I Wanna Be Loved By You" in full costume and wig.


Joan never became a grandmother but gave lots of love to her children’s many pets.  At regular family dinners, she would spoil Steve's dog Goyl with too many treats!  At these events, the family watched television series as a group, in installments over time; her favorites were Six Feet Under and Breaking Bad.


Over the last decade, Joan struggled with multiple health issues, some of which caused her great pain, ands she became legally blind.  She was hospitalized 5 times for serious conditions in the past 10 months.  Joan faced all of these challenges with tremendous courage and stamina, and received comfort from her female tabby cat Pirate who never left her side.  Joan seemed to have 9 lives herself!  Her children considered her the Energizer Bunny because she was a fighter who always bounced back. 


Joan was cremated on 9/8/2015 following an informal memorial attended by her 3 children.  They said their goodbyes and surrounded their beloved mother with flowers, photos and mementos.  Her ashes will remain with her children; her strong and vibrant spirit will live on in their hearts.

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