Joan Barbara (Allen) McReynolds passed away Aug. 23, 2011, surrounded by loved ones at her home in Hood River, Ore. She was born Aug. 16, 1937, to Florence Madelyn (Shute) Allen and Francis Burton Allen.
Her proud papa was a merchant marine at the time, in Woodbury, N.J., a small town in northern New Jersey barely 12 miles south of Philadelphia. Though an only child, Joan enjoyed a rich childhood where she was surrounded by loving aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents in what was a very white-picket-fence, close-knit community.
Unfortunately, Joan's parents divorced when she was 2 and she remained with her mother, losing contact with her father for most of her childhood. (She later came to know and love him as an adult.)
By the age of 10, her mother and stepfather, George Rigler, relocated to the West Coast, settling in the area of Boring, Ore.
While Joan regretted that she and her mother had left their home in New Jersey, in 1958, Joan found the love of her life, Thomas Eldon McReynolds, and she often noted that their move to Oregon had turned out to be the best thing that had ever happened because of this.
Tom and Joan married on Sept. 19 of that year. They began their life together on a lovely farm two miles south of Sandy, Ore., while Thomas worked for Hyster Company's engineering department in Portland.
Thomas had originally hailed from Wasco County, Ore., where his family has a richly established history as wheat ranchers dating back several generations. With Joan's able real estate acumen and enthusiastic support, Tom and Joan returned to that legacy much to Thomas' satisfaction.
Joan and Thomas spent much of their lives owning and operating wheat ranches in eastern Oregon and eastern Washington, as well as raising their three children. They were avid fly fishers and hunters, but their greatest loves remained each other.
Sadly widowed in 1999, Joan elected to relocate to Hood River with her daughter Robin, where she greatly enjoyed the community's warmth and genuinely friendly culture. Joan often remarked on Hood River's unique status as a community with more kind hearts per capita than most other places she had known.
Joan is survived by her three children: Robin Elizabeth of Hood River, Jennifer Anne of Portland, and Joseph Patrick of Bend.
Recitation of the Rosary will be held on Monday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. at Anderson's Tribute Center in Hood River. Funeral Mass/services will be held Aug. 30 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1501 Belmont Ave., Hood River, followed by interment at the Odd Fellow's Cemetery in The Dalles. Reception to follow at St. Mary's. All are welcome.
Donations may be made on her behalf to Central Oregon ARC, in Bend, Ore. The ARC supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Please also see www.andersonstributecenter.com if you would like to learn more about Joan's beautiful life and leave comments or condolences to her family.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000.
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