December 27, 1945 — January 25, 2018
Joanne passed away on Thursday, January 25 at home, comfortably surrounded by friends and family after a lengthy battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
Joanne was born on December 27, 1945, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Bob and Jean Custenborder. As a teenager, she developed aplastic anemia as a result of taking the antibiotic chloramphenicol, which would later be banned. She would spend the next several years undergoing difficult blood and hormone therapies to try to restore her marrow condition. Defying doctors’ predictions, she recovered (mostly), and graduated from St. Monica’s High School in Santa Monica, California.
She married Owen Lloyd Jones shortly after high school. They had two sons. They separated shortly after.
She learned to become a tough single mom, raising two boys while working various jobs to support them — as a mail carrier for the US Post Office, the telephone company, selling real estate, whatever it took to make ends meet.
Once the boys were raised enough, she went back to school to become a nurse. Having spent so many years in the hospital as a teenager, she had a deep empathy for cancer patients. Her greatest passion in life was working as a nurse in the oncology department at Mercy San Juan hospital in Sacramento, California.
She retired in 2005 and moved to Corvallis to be near her grandchildren. She became an active volunteer at the Cats’ Meow thrift store, where she enjoyed lots of great friendships, and shared her special sense of humor with anyone who would listen.
She liked riding horses, Porsches, being a nurse, Rick and Morty, Sassy (the dangerous cat), breakfast with her grandchildren at Elmer’s, the ocean, cowboys, other people’s cooking, telling people what to do, sorting clothes, her friends at the Cat’s Meow, and her grandchildren. She disliked tomatoes, cooking, bad drivers, germs, and being told what to do.
She would have liked to thank all the dedicated nurses at Samaritan Infusion Center and Samaritan Hospital.
She is survived by her two sons Morgan and Craig Jones; grandchildren, Miles and Calvin Jones; daughter-in-law Kiana Jones; sister and brother-in-law, Mike and Judy Fuller of Waldport; and all the rest of you.
An informal gathering to remember Joanne will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 24 at the Meadow Park Mobile Estates clubhouse, Corvallis.
Send donations to the Heartland Humane Society in lieu of flowers.