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Joan M. Fopp

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Joan M. Fopp Obituary
A celebration of her life is 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel.

Cremation took place under the direction of Schnider Funeral Home.

Joan was born Nov. 25, 1919, in Great Falls, to Roland and Ora (Walsh) Kennard. She grew up on Smelter Hill, attended grade school in Black Eagle, and graduated in 1937 from Great Falls High School. She was a 1941 graduate of the University of Montana, majoring in business. On Oct. 18, 1941, she married Gene P. Fopp, an FBI agent and her college sweetheart, in Great Falls, which allowed a blind date to last 69 years. They lived in Philadelphia, New York and finally, by request, in Great Falls. During World War II, she volunteered in hospitals in both Philadelphia and New York, as nurses had been recruited overseas. She often reminisced about severe rationing of gas and spending many hours in food lines, where she bartered the cigarette coupons she never used for meat or sugar.

After their return to Great Falls, she gave countless hours of community service to the Junior League, Camp Fire Girls and the Community Beautification Association. Like her father, Roll Kennard, who initiated the beautiful Christmas lights on Smelter Hill, Joan helped carry that tradition over to a different hill on Broadwater Overlook. Joan, an expert golfer, was inducted into the Montana Woman's Golf Hall of Fame in 1997 as a result of her contributions to her lifelong passion, which she played since seven years of age. Joan provided expert commentaries on many unsuspecting golfers as she observed their form from her kitchen sink across from the 13th fairway of the Meadow Lark Country Club Golf Course. She also harvested many a golf ball from the men who cut yardage off the No. 13 hole and ended up losing their ball in her yard.

In 1971, with the help of a carpenter, Gene and Joan built their fishing and hunting cabin in the beautiful Smith River Canyon. She created a women's touch by ensuring luxuries such as indoor plumbing and by cleverly decoupaging C.M. Russell prints on cabinet doors, creating an uncommon galleria in the middle of nowhere. Their cabin, a continual labor of love, which was heavy on the labor, provided much joy in the respites of fly-fishing, and entertaining friends and family. They were delighted that Shelley and the grandchildren have bonded to this beautiful land and felt assured that with their stepdad George's guidance, they will become good stewards and ensure the land's weed-free status! She and her husband loved Montana's big sky and beautiful land, especially Glacier National Park. Joan and Gene also delighted in the world's treasures by traveling in Mexico, Africa and through most of Europe.

Joan was a woman of grace, love, courage and wit. Her life and spirit will be forever treasured.

Survivors include daughters Carolyn Fopp of Avon, Ind., and Shelley (George) Liknes of Great Falls, and her cherished grandchildren, Erin Addison of Seattle, Kara Addison of Helena and Conrad Addison, currently in Mongolia.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Gene P. Fopp; her parents, Roland and Ora Kennard; a brother, Joe Kennard; and a daughter, Sandra Paulette Fopp.

Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor's choice.

Condolences may be posted online at and/or

Published in Great Falls Tribune on July 17, 2011
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