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IN MEMORIAM: Donna JoAnn Pagenkopf

Donna JoAnn Pagenkopf passed away Dec. 12, 2014.  JoAnn was born to Paul and Ida Kelsey on Oct. 23, 1928, in Wichita, Kansas.  Her siblings included younger sister Lois, along with brothers Robert, and Dean. 

She grew up in and around Marion, Kansas, graduating from Marion High School in 1946, being unquestionably the smallest, but best tuba player in the marching band. Her love of music would return later as an accomplished organist. JoAnn attended Brown-Mackey business school, in addition to working from a young age at  Duckwalls, and later as a dental assistant.

It was while working at a local diner she first met Roy Pagenkopf, the love of her life and husband for 67 years. The early years were filled with trips to the Pilsen dance hall, polkas, and double dating with friends. Roy and JoAnn were engaged in Jan. 1948 and married that June.  Soon after, they moved to Newton where they began their family, first with son Michael, (1949), followed by son Kerry, (1954).

JoAnn was a homemaker and volunteer, raising her family, and moving to many locations across the country while Roy’s career advanced.  Early in their marriage they had the opportunity to travel worldwide, enjoying trips ranging from Europe to Asia, Russia to Australia. During this time they made many life-long friends and eventually, in 1965, called Boise their home for good.

JoAnn was a dearly beloved matriarch and grandmother to three:  Michelle (Steve) Wood of Boise, Idaho, Daniel (Vicky) Pagenkopf of Carpenteria, California, and Nicholas (Gulnoza) Pagenkopf of Des Moines, Iowa.  She was a great-grandmother of four to Hanna Pagenkopf, Aiden Wood, Laurel Wood, and Natalie Pagenkopf.

JoAnn was known by most as an excellent cook with feisty Irish personality, and a gracious hostess to all who entered her home. The family looked forward to her confectionary “Blarney Stones” every St. Patrick’s Day. She loved spending time at their home in McCall, sewing, quilting, and playing weekend card games with friends.  One of JoAnn’s final trips took her to Ireland to explore her Irish heritage, which she proudly displayed with her “IRISH II” license plates for decades. One of her most remembered quotes, “The Irish only fight amongst themselves because they have no worthy adversaries” still brings a smile to us all. 

JoAnn is preceded in death by  her parents Paul and Ida Kelsey, sister, Lois, brothers Bob and Dean, and son Michael. She is survived by her husband Roy, son Kerry and his wife Julie of Caldwell, daughter-in-law Leslie of Boise, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews residing in her home state of Kansas. 

A viewing will be held from 4 to 6 pm. on Sunday, Dec. 21 at Bowman Funeral Home, 10254 West Carlton Bay Drive, Garden City.   Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 22 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 5009 Cassia St., Boise, with a remembrance dinner immediately following.  Private committal services follow at Dry Creek Cemetery. 

Condolences may be made at www.bowmanfuneral.com. Donations in JoAnn’s name may be made to Good Shepard Lutheran Church or a charity of your choice.

Last modified Dec. 18, 2014

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