Joane Sophie (Wohlgenant) Griffith died on January 25th, 2020 of congestive heart failure with her stepdaughter JoAnn by her side. She was under hospice care at the Touchmark Facility in Helena, Montana where she had lived for the last 9 years.
Joane was born on December 30th, 1925, on a homestead in the Pine Hills outside of Miles City, Montana, the fourth of six girls born to Lawrence Wohlegnant and Mildred (Babcock) Wohlgenant. Joane helped with chores around the farm and attended a one-room schoolhouse for several years. She graduated from Custer County Hight School in 1944 and went on to Montana State University in Bozeman where she earned degrees in home economics and education. She taught briefly at Sydney High School and then at the brand-new Helena High School from 1950-56. After earning her master’s degree by attending classes in the summers, she served as a professor of teacher education at Oregon State University for 6 years and then moved to Washington State University in Pullman, Washington where she was Associate Professor of Home Economics education for 12 years.
On July 15th, 1974, Joane married Richard Droege Griffith, the widower of her sister, Phyllis. She moved to Libby, Montana where he was the Chief Forester for St. Regis Paper Company and became the stepmother to Dick’s son and three daughters. After several years in Libby, Dick was transferred to Bangor, Maine where the couple lived until Dick retired in 1980. In retirement they moved to Lewiston, Idaho where they kept very busy with golfing, gardening and volunteering for the Congregational Presbyterian Church and Habitat for Humanity. Joane also served as the President of the Retired Teachers Association in Idaho. Dick died in 2010 and in 2011 Joane sold her home in Lewiston and moved to Helena to be near her stepdaughter.
Joane is preceded in death by her husband Dick Griffith and by her sisters Phyllis Griffith, Loraine Wohlgenant, Eileen Wohlgenant, Mona Lee Reiner and Kay Newlin. Joane will be greatly missed by her stepchildren Larry Griffith, Brenda Holland, JoAnn Chambers and Allyson James. She was a beloved grandmother to their children Benjamin Griffith, Andy Holland, Allison Holland Long, Laura Holland, Beau Chambers, Cameron Chambers, Mariah Chambers, Nathan James and Alexander James. Her eleven great-grandchildren are Theo and Henry Holland, Finnegan and Violet Long, Hudson and Beckett Chambers, Vivian Burk, Jack Duckworth, Sawyer Chambers, Emma James and Paxton James.
Joane Griffith will be laid to rest at Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery at Fort Harrison in Helena, MT.
A Celebration of Life for Joane Griffith will be held at the Forum in Touchmark, 915 Saddle Dr, Helena, MT 59601, on Monday, February 3rd at 1:00 p.m. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Joane.