Joanne Timmins

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Former Mammoth resident Joanne Timmins died in Champaign, Ill., on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011. She was 63 years old.

A longtime administrator for the National Park Service, Ms. Timmins spent the last 15 years of her career in Yellowstone as personnel officer and administrative officer. An esteemed supervisor, she was known for integrity, ingenuity, courage and determination in doing the work of the Park, which she loved, living there in a tidy Victorian cottage tucked away on Soapsuds Row and filled with her books and beautiful things. She retired from the Park in 2010, moving to the Midwest to be near family.

Born in Manchester, N.H., she grew up in Lynn, Mass., where she graduated from St. Mary's Girls High School as class salutatorian in 1965. She went on to a degree magna cum laude from Mount St. Mary College in Hookset, N.H., and thence to a fellowship at Indiana University, where she studied her passion, English literature. In 1971 she was invited to attend the prestigious Breadloaf Writers Conference in Middlebury, Vt.

Her professional life began at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., where she pioneered the company's real estate license testing program, crisscrossing the country to meet with commissioners in virtually every state.

Ms. Timmins joined the Park Service in 1982 as personnel officer at Gateway National Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., commuting there from Manhattan. The coming years led her to posts in geographic extremes - Glacier, the Statue of Liberty, Alaska's Denali, Washington, D.C., and Yellowstone. An avid explorer of the Parks, whose interests ran from butterflies to wolves, Ms. Timmins graciously entertained visitors and friends in all seasons. An accomplished skier, she evinced a dual penchant for excellence and adventure in her life and career.

Predeceased by her parents, Jane and Joseph, and her sister, Betsy, Ms. Timmins leaves behind many family and innumerable friends. Among them are brothers Paul, Tom, Joe and Steve; sister Mary; eight nieces and nephews; a brand-new grandnephew, Rio Leroux Dunn Gaines of Livingston; lifetime companion Cecil Clark; and her little cat, Chloe.

Donations in memory of Ms. Timmins may be made to support bear research in Glacier National Park as follows: phone, (406) 892-3250; mail, Glacier National Park Fund, P.O. Box 2749, Columbia Falls, MT 59912; online,, from the home page go to "Ways to give > Select a project > Research > Grizzly and Black Bear Research > Donation."
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 27, 2011
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