Joe Ann Kennedy Heap of Bozeman, passed away at home June 15 following a brief illness, surrounded by her family who faithfully tended her to the end of her life. Joe Ann was a wonderful lady and the epitome of Christian service. Scarcely anyone met her without thinking of her as a wonderful and genuine friend. As a result, for the rest of her life, everywhere she went she ran into "friends".
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She worked as a custodian, hall monitor and study hall aide at Bozeman High School for 39 years and was known with great affection as "Grandma Heap" to hundreds of students there. Many who remember her at Bozeman High would recall that she was a hard worker and that they had they had a tough time keeping pace with her. She was one of the greatest Bozeman Hawk fans in the history of Gallatin Valley and her enthusiasm for Hawk basketball was especially legendary. She was inducted into the Bozeman High Hall of Fame last year for her tireless service to the students and staff at Bozeman Senior High.
She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in many positions of responsibility including seminary teacher, primary teacher, relief society president and as a missionary in Nauvoo, Ill. Joe Ann was a skilled cook and confectioneer and was especially good at dipping chocolates which she sold under the brand name of "Grandma In Montana's".
Joe Ann was born in Ogden, Utah to Wayne Joseph and Mary Kennedy. She attended South Rich County Schools where she met a boy on the playground named Shayne Heap who gave her a nickel if she would kiss him. After high school and time in college at Utah State, she married Shayne for "all time and eternity" in the Logan LDS Temple. They made their home in Gallatin Gateway where he worked as a skilled cheesemaker until his death in 1969.
She is survived by her sister, Anna Mae (John) Cornia of Randolph, Utah; four children, Mareen (Dan) Cook of St. George, Utah, David (Mary) Heap of Bozeman, Kayleen (Ed) Willis of South Jordan, Utah , Andy (Cynthia) Heap of Hobson; nine wonderful grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
She will be remembered for her loving kindness to those she served at work, at church and especially to her family. She lived a quality life, because she discovered that joy and fulfillment in life comes from serving others. The world was a better place for those who knew her; because of her.
She had faith in her Heavenly Father and her Savior Jesus Christ. She will be sorely missed by family and friends but they will find comfort in knowing that she will forever enjoy her joyous reunion with her husband Shayne, mother, father, brother and many beloved family members and friends. Those who mourn should find comfort in the knowledge that in her own words, she's "just fine".
Joe Ann's family wishes to thank the services of the skilled staff at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital ICU and Rocky Mountain Hospice for their tender care of Joe Ann during her last few weeks. The family would also like to thank Joe Ann's many friends for their prayers and many acts of kindness during this trying time.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday June 19 at 10 a.m. in the Bozeman LDS Stake Center located at 2915 Colter Avenue. Friends may call on the family Tuesday, June 18 from 7 to 8:30 pm at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service located at 113 South Willson Avenue in Bozeman.
The Heap family requests that in lieu of flowers, friends may donate to the Joe Ann Heap Sports Camp Memorial Fund, care of Bozeman School Foundation, P.O. Box 1803, Bozeman, MT. 59771.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 16, 2013