Crist Mortuary
3395 Penrose Place
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 442-4411
Memorial service
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019
11:00 AM
Cross of Christ Lutheran Church
12099 Lowell Blvd.
Broomfield, CO
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Joanne Irwin

1939 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Joanne Irwin Obituary
Joanne Irwin

- - Our dear Mom, Grandmother, Sister, Wife, And Friend has passed away.

Although Joanne struggled with dementia in the last few years of her life, her family is relieved to now remember her as her true, vibrant self.

Joanne was born to Richard and Helen Mathie in Wausau, Wisconsin in December 1939 as the fourth of six siblings. She began her life on a family farm, attending a one room schoolhouse for her first year of school before her family moved to town. She met Fred Bion Irwin, a young Navy man, at a friend's wedding. They married in 1959. Joanne and Fred began married life in Illinois, where their first daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1960. They were then transferred to Florida, where their second daughter, Lisa was born in 1961. They were transferred a third and final time to California where their third daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1963.

Joanne and Fred settled in San Diego, where they met their dear lifelong friends, Don and Pansy Soltis. Through thick and thin, Joanne and Pansy were the best of friends. The two young families—with a combined total of seven children—enjoyed many adventures together.

In 1976, when Fred retired from the military, Joanne and Fred made a momentous decision to move to Boulder, Colorado. They were drawn to the beautiful community where they could continue their outdoor lifestyle. They were both physically active, they enjoyed hiking, camping, and backpacking—and, now, snow sports!

Joanne began working part-time making party trays at a Hickory Farms store in Rancho Bernardo, CA. In Boulder, she worked at the counter at Don's Cheese and Sausage near the Pearl Street Mall. Customer lines would reach out the door every lunch hour! She moved on to work at Albertson's Deli, where she received commendations as a well-respected manager.

Tragically, Fred died of cancer at the young age of 52. Although Joanne was surrounded with friends and family, she was lonesome without a partner. She was happy to be introduced to Donald Bryant, a widower with his own children. The two of them hit it off, and spent the next thirty years together. They bought a small home in Breckenridge. There, they delighted in scenic mountain drives, hosting family, and adventures with friends. Joanne and Don were active both in the Breckenridge community and in the Hunter's Glen Lake community in Thornton.

When her grandchildren were born, Joanne was a lively, joyous presence in their lives. She hosted annual Christmas parties for them, and traveled to visit grandchildren in Coeur d'Alene and Atlanta.

Joanne was a consummate hostess. Both with her husband Fred, and with Don, she built many lasting friendships and hosted many gatherings. She was stylish and creative, and took pride in her beautiful, art-filled homes.

From her time as a young Navy wife to her last years, Joanne was a strong, capable woman. She was an avid hiker and reader. She was a blessing to all who knew her, and was loving to her family until her very last breath. We will celebrate her memory.

Joanne is survived by her children, Jennifer Vance (Sam), Lisa Hodgson (Bob) and Elizabeth Olson (David) and by her grandchildren, Bridget Norman, Mark Norman, Ivy Schreiner (Charley), Ethan Hodgson (Hillary and baby Porter), and Quinn Olson. She is also survived by her second loving partner, Donald G. Bryant and his children, Kristen Parker (Geoff, and their children Maggie and Trevor) and Rod Bryant (Tammy, and their children Angie, Lacey, Jenny, and Stephen). She is also survived by her siblings, Jack Mathie (Patricia), Susan Petrowski (Bob), and Mike Mathie (Terry).

Joanne was predeceased by her late husband, Fred Bion Irwin Jr., and her dear sisters from Wausau- Carol Little and Mary Kostuck.

All are welcome to attend the memorial service held in her honor at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church 12099 Lowell Blvd., Broomfield, CO on February 2, 2019 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to of Colorado 455 Sherman St. #500 Denver, CO 80203 or go to To send condolences to the family please visit
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on Jan. 13, 2019
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