Joan Elizabeth Wilson
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Joan Wilson of Bozeman, died on June 23, 2021.
She was born Joan Elizabeth Wilson to Helen (Orcutt) and Harold D. (Pete) Wilson on July 13, 1930, in Sioux City, Iowa. She was later joined in the family by two sisters, Nancy (Pearcy Wilson Orcutt) of Corvallis, Oregon, and Sally (Stan Judd) of Fairbury, Nebraska. Joan graduated from Sioux City Central High School in 1949 and went on to attend her father's alma mater, Iowa State University. Her formal education included a bachelor's from Iowa State University (ISU) and ultimately a Master of Science in Mathematics from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. She taught at the Iowa School for the Deaf as well as in Three Forks and was a math instructor at several colleges and universities. Joan lived and worked in Billings, MT for many years. After retiring from teaching, she went on to become a Certified Financial Planner. She had a brilliant mind and an affinity for numbers. By pairing those gifts with her careers, she was successful in helping many people.
During her time at ISU, she met Bob Mead, whom she married on October 24, 1953. Joan and Bob had 5 children: Ren?e (Jim Korth), Georgette (Jay Hantz), Rob (Sandra Balls), Jodie (Rod Palmer) and Danielle (Jeff Skjelver).
In 1959 the family moved to Gardiner, MT and Joan began her relationship with Yellowstone National Park. Joan had a fierce, independent spirit and she soon realized that living and breathing in these mountains fed something deep within her soul. She had to be content with summers in Yellowstone as she worked toward the goal of living full time in Montana, which she achieved in summer of 1965. For the rest of her life, the majesty and magic of the Rockies would be an integral and profound part of who she was. This move, to full time life in Montana, completed Joan's transformation from "flat lander" to true "Mountain mamma". To the end, Joan's spirit was most at peace when she was outside in the indescribable grandeur of the Rocky Mountains.
Joan was a lifelong seeker of knowledge. She was an avid reader and baseball fan. She enjoyed classical music, opera, wildflowers, and songbirds. Her love for mathematics and puzzles will be remembered by many.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Ren?e Korth and her great-grandson, Camper Ren?e Collins. She is survived by four children; fourteen grandchildren, Lisa, Jake, Lindsay, Brycie, Clay, Ben, Alek, Alexis, Samantha, Rachael, Drew, Thor, Elizabeth & Alaric; and fifteen great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Joan's name to the Disabled Veterans of America or to Alzheimer's / Dementia research.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
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