On the morning of June 19, 2020, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend to everyone she met “graduated” from mortality and returned to her Heavenly Father.
JoAnn Petersen Dew was a bright, thoughtful, funny, loving, utterly selfless woman who was a pure ray of sunshine, an example of sheer goodness to all, and the best back-tickler and story reader on record. It is not an overstatement to say that everyone who met JoAnn loved her, felt comfortable in her presence, and almost instantly counted her as a friend.
Born in Hyrum, Utah, on January 6, 1932, to George Raymond and Mabel Matilda Nuttall Petersen, she succumbed after a long, slow decline related to a fall three years earlier.
JoAnn spent most of her growing-up years in Logan, Utah. She was working as a switchboard operator at the local telephone company when a Kansas farm boy attending what was then the Utah State Agricultural College—Charles M. Dew—somehow persuaded this young, red-headed beauty to marry him. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Logan Utah Temple on February 6, 1953, and then left Utah’s lush Cache Valley for a move to the Sunflower State. There in their little house on the prairie, they raised five children—Sheri Linn, Charles Steven, Cynthia Jo Pennington, Linda Michelle Baer, and Bradley Raymond.
JoAnn and Charles were devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints, and their membership in the Church and devotion to the Savior, along with chore of running their large grain farm, shaped their lives. JoAnn served in an endless number of Church callings in the Primary, Relief Society, Young Women and Seminary organizations—and, as is often the cases in small units of the Church, often many at one time. She drove hundreds of thousands of miles across the Great Plains chauffeuring her children to football and basketball games, track meets, music recitals, youth conferences and girls’ camps, and basically anything and everything that would give her children opportunities to participate, learn, and grow. She gave her life to her children. No effort was too great to give them experiences that allowed them to develop their talents. To her children’s chagrin, she had an obsession with not just being on time but WAY early to every meeting and event they attended.
In their later years, JoAnn and Charles served two missions for the Church in Nauvoo, and she loved every minute leading tours through Church historic sites, serving in the Nauvoo Temple, and joining the young performing elders and sisters in their evening performances overlooking the banks of the Mississippi. She and Charles made treasured friendships with countless other senior couples.
The gospel and her family meant everything to JoAnn.
She is survived by her children: Sheri, Cindy Pennington (James), Michelle Baer (Michael), and Brad (Lisa); by Sandra Gardner, the widow of deceased son Steven, who is now married to Richard Gardner; by fifteen grandchildren; and by thirty-three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Milton and her eldest son Charles Steven; by two grandchildren, Tanner and Amanda Pennington; and by four great-grandchildren--Gaige Charles Dew, Lyndon Wilson, Bridger Baer, and Harlow Dew.
We love you, mother, and pledge to follow in your footsteps and make you proud of us! We cherish our Heavenly Father’s Plan, which assures us that in a coming day, we will be reunited with you and dad!
Current arrangements to honor JoAnn’s life include a viewing on Sunday, June 21, from 4:00-5:00 at Nelson Funeral Home, 4780 N. University Avenue, Provo, Utah; and a viewing will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ulysses, Kansas (210 West Maize Avenue) from 10:00-10:45 on Saturday, June 27, at 10:00 a.m., followed by a Memorial service at 11:00. Interment in the Ulysses Cemetery will follow.
**We express deepest gratitude to the dedicated and caring professionals at the Legacy Village assisted-living center in Provo, Utah and to those who served mother in her last weeks from First Choice Home Health and Hospice. We also thank Dr. Dave Workman for the tremendous loving care he gave our mother.
Life Story Info
I met Sister Dew while serving as a missionary in Ulysses, Kansas. Her husband Charles loved his Jayhawks basketball. I adored her love and care for us missionaries. She saw that the soles of my shoes were worn through and on my last day, she handed me a crisp $100 bill for a new pair. I put those shoes on for 8 months and I thought of her love and devotion to the Lord. A great woman and family. I know she will be missed.
Sheri, and family, didn't know your mother personally, but have read about her more last week in her obituary, ...have heard you many times, have listened to you talk about your mother a few times. After having lost our mother in 2001, can feel for you and the loss you feel and you'll deeply feel for her, the absence from your life -- it will be hard not to be able to ask for her opinion and counsel when you desire it. Take care, and hopes for a safe journey back to your home town this week. Condolences, hugs.