JoAnn Harlan, 85, of Conroe, passed away on January 2, 2018. She was born on November 4, 1932, in Drasco, Texas to James Rufus Smith and Vada Duke Smith.
JoAnn Harlan, 85, of Conroe, passed away on January 2, 2018. She was born on November 4, 1932, in Drasco, Texas to James Rufus Smith and Vada Duke Smith. She graduated in 1950 from Winters High School and attended Draughon’s Business College in Abilene. She was a cashier and bookkeeper for Lone Star Gas Co. in Winters when she met her husband, Donald (Don) Harlan, after he moved to Winters in pursuit of oil patch experience for Humble Oil Co. It was love at first sight for the both of them and the rest has been history. They were inseparable for 65 years of marriage.
JoAnn wore many hats throughout her life; she was an avid athlete, homemaker, artist, craftsman, tailor, repairman, etc. Above all, she was a beloved mother to her four children, all of whom will miss her very deeply. With Don, she would make her way throughout Texas, moving from Winters, to Wichita Falls, to El Paso where Don was stationed in the Army, to Bellaire, Houston, South Houston, then Richmond, Rosenberg, The Woodlands and finally, Conroe. While living in Rosenberg, JoAnn worked as the Store Manager at Home Building & Lumber. Don and JoAnn were active members of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Richmond where JoAnn was instrumental in forming the St. John’s School for Little Children. JoAnn was active in Craft Circle at The Woodlands United Methodist Church for many years, and became a Master Gardener in Montgomery County. She also worked as Office Manager for the family business until her disease forced her to retire. Both before and after she retired, she was very active with her grandchildren, hiking and playing with them in the creek, teaching them to be young artists and to cook, read and play cards. She taught them to be independent, competent children and her influence has touched them unforgettably.
It was tragic when JoAnn started showing signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in 1990. She had been so active, and had done so much for so many people. Everyone who knew her would say she could do anything she put her mind to. As the disease progressed, she continued to do all that she could, until she could no longer. For many years her devoted husband Don ensured JoAnn had the healthiest diet and lifestyle she could. He did all possible within his being and loved her with all of his heart. Unfortunately, through trials and tribulations she could not be cured, but the progress he guided her through was nothing short of amazing. Finally, God wanted her more.
This loving wife, mother and friend will be dearly missed. Thank you, JoAnn, for being the strong, determined and extraordinary person we were honored to call Mother, Nana, or friend.
Survivors include her husband, Donald Harlan; children David Harlan and wife Terri, Sharon Haas and husband Anthony, Terry Bomer and husband Kirk, Jan Lindstrom and husband Mike; grandchildren Brandon Bomer and wife Allisha, Ryan Haas and wife Kelly, Sarah Haas and fiancé Mick Hoffman, Caroline Haas, Andrew Lindstrom, Rebecca Riggs and husband Ryan; great-grandchildren Braxxton, Romello and Sadii, as well as many special friends and family.
A memorial service will be held in Faith Chapel at First United Methodist Conroe, 4308 W. Davis on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at 2 p.m. with Rev. Mike Lindstrom, officiating. There will be a reception after the service.
The family would like to thank the staff of Texas Home Health Hospice including Kathy, Kimberly, Sherri and Chaplain William Plotts for their love and care during these last months. Three very special women, Ella Hatchett, Nell Riddle and Tarina Shoemaker-Franklin loved JoAnn and provided outstanding care, compassion and friendship over many years. In addition, the family is extremely grateful for Dr. Cynthia Tait for all her incredible wisdom and guidance. JoAnn was blessed, and was a blessing.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in JoAnn’s memory to Family Promise of Montgomery County (familypromiseofmc.org), First Methodist Conroe (fmconroe.org), or God’s Garage (godsgaragecar.com).