Joanne Van Boerum
Larkin Sunset Lawn - Salt Lake City
2350 E 1300 S
Salt Lake City, UT
Joanne Beth Kilts Van Boerum

1939 ~ 2021

"Well, I'm not ready to give up yet!" These were some of the last words she said, and were among the principles that shaped her life.

Joanne Beth Kilts Van Boerum was born March 18, 1939, in Ogden, Utah, to Elizabeth Brown Kilts and Earl Sylvester Kilts. When she was just three years old, her father died in an accident. In 1948 her mother married Merlin Walter Webb who was Joanne's dad and lovingly raised her as if she were his own. Joanne returned to her Heavenly Father on September 21, 2021 -- peacefully, and surrounded by her husband, her six children and their spouses.

Joanne attended and graduated from Ogden High School and Weber College, then continued her studies at Utah State University. She was popular among student bodies and ran for and was elected to various positions of leadership. It was while she was still a student at Ogden High School that she met the love of her life, J. Howard Van Boerum, who was studying at Weber College. Their relationship flourished and, when a year later Howard made the decision to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joanne agreed to wait for him. And she did. While on his mission, Howard purchased diamonds from a jeweler in Holland and, ten days after completing his mission and returning to Ogden, asked Joanne to marry him. Two and a half months later, on August 10, 1960, they married in the Salt Lake Temple. That was more than 61 years ago!

While a student and young wife, Joanne honed and was appreciated for her skills as she worked for the Bon Marche in Ogden, and then as a secretary at Hill Air Force Base. Joanne's greatest desire was to be a stay-at-home mom where she could focus all of her attention on her family. The entire family was continually blessed as she wore her body out fulfilling this divine calling. Howard's career allowed her to do what she desired.

Howard was still a student when their first child was born and the young couple budgeted and sacrificed to enable Joanne to stay at home with their daughter Lori. Over the next seventeen years, five more children joined the Van Boerum family: Heidi, Don, Drew, Jane and Joni. The children always knew that they were the priority for Joanne. She never missed a carpool, a sporting event, a dance or piano recital or the opportunity to sew a prom dress -- sometimes all in one day, with a family that spanned seventeen years. The Van Boerum home was a favorite among friends who remember Joanne for her welcoming kindness, her stocked pantry, and the delicious homemade baked goods.

Joanne's support of Howard enabled him to flourish in his career. This made it possible for her to be a mother and homemaker for the duration of her life. Joanne made sure that the family had nutritious meals as a family each evening, and that the laundry was spotless and ironed. Howard and Joanne made a great team.

Joanne's children were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from her, among them: if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Two wrongs don't make a right. Sticks and stones. That cleaning the kitchen is not finished until the sink is rinsed and shining. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. She taught that love is unconditional, that dreams can come true, and that you can be whatever you want to be. By example she taught honesty, selflessness, perfectionism, compassion, endurance and grace.

Joanne was the consummate hostess. Sunday dinners at the Van Boerum house were quite the production, especially as in-laws and grandchildren joined the family and Joanne kept track of the likes and dislikes of each; ensuring that there were both green and yellow vegetables to meet the individual preferences -- which sometimes meant the choice of six!

The extended Van Boerum family always looks forward to the annual summer trip to Sun Valley. Howard and Joanne rent condos and host their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for a week of summer fun. Joanne always spent the preceding weeks baking and freezing cookies to take. She counted one year and realized that she'd baked a variety of over 100 dozen (yes, 100 DOZEN) cookies distributed to each condo, and ravenously enjoyed by all. She knew which cookie was the favorite of each in her family and made sure to have plenty. You could always find a puzzle on the table in Joanne's place and it was a gathering spot for grandchildren who enjoyed the challenge of the puzzle and the loving conversation with Grandma, each of them certain that they were the favorite.

For all of her life, Joanne had a strong testimony of the gospel. She demonstrated Christlike love and service in everything she did. Joanne and Howard served together in the Salt Lake Temple for a number of years until an injury to Joanne's leg prevented them from continuing. In her ward, Joanne served in Relief Society presidencies, Primary presidencies, and various other callings.

At the young age of 30 years, Joanne was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and she faced it with determination to not give in. She routinely expressed thanks to her Rheumatologists, Dr. Cecil Samuelson and Dr. Daniel Clegg whose skilled care contributed to her health and quality of life. Joanne endured 50 years of various immune-suppressing treatments and medications along with their side effects, and fought the resulting deterioration with grace until the very end. Joanne spent the last two weeks of her life in her son, Don's, Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit at the Intermountain Medical Center being attended to by him and her other doctor son, Drew, along with the rest of the family and an army of specialists. The family wishes to thank all the doctors and nurses who compassionately saw to her care during this time. Joanne's heart and spirit did not give up, but ultimately her body did.

Joanne was preceded in death by her parents and by her grandson, Brock Butler. She is survived by her husband Howard, and by their children Lori and Roger Haglund, Heidi and Brian Monson, Don and Heather Van Boerum, Drew and Melody Van Boerum, Jane and Devin Healy, and Joni and Spencer Chipping. 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren with one more great-granddaughter on the way round out the family. Joanne is also survived by her sister Barbara Leatham and her brother Dale Webb.

A viewing will be held Thursday, September 30, 2021, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South in Salt Lake City. Funeral services will be held Friday, October 1, 2021, at 11:00 am at the Crestview Ward, 2795 East Crestview Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84108. Family and friends may visit from 9:30 to 10:30 that morning. Interment will follow at Larkin Sunset Lawn. For those who are unable to attend the services in person, the family invites you to join via Zoom at A free Zoom account is required to join.

Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Sep. 24 to Sep. 28, 2021.
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Larkin Sunset Lawn - Salt Lake City
2350 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT
Crestview Ward
2795 East Crestview Drive, Salt Lake City, UT
Funeral services provided by:
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Sponsored by Larkin Sunset Lawn - Salt Lake City.
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13 Entries
Came across Joanne´s obituary. It sounds like you all have many wonderful memories. I knew Joanne in high school. We sang in sextet together. I´m not sure how well we sang but we were cute! We were also roommates at Utah State. She was always the nicest person and kind. Always hard to say goodbye to someone you love but pretty sure she´s still aware of you.
Ann Blackinton Bramble
October 1, 2021
So sorry to hear about Joanne. You both are such fabulous examples of "great" people. We love you and are praying for you and your family.
Craig & Susan Jacobsen
October 1, 2021
Love, Cynthia Hale and family
October 1, 2021
Sending love to your whole family at this tender time! And wishing you feelings of peace in these days to come! Just listened to the funeral service and was moved to tears a few times! Such a beautiful tribute to her and I´m sure she was smiling from heaven! You have such a special family and she is such an extraordinarily special lady! I always loved her and her Christlike example and have always loved your whole family! Here are just a few quotes and lessons from your Mom (from the funeral) that I always want to remember . . . "If I agreed to this, I´m never going to complain." "An ounce of morning is worth a pound of afternoon." "She suffered in silence with a smile on her face." "Do the right thing because it´s the right thing to do." "You don´t have to like everybody but you do need to be nice to everybody." She gave more than she took. She is now living her best life and is so happy now! As I´m sure you do too, I wish so badly we could get a glimpse of them in the opening scenes of this Act 3. So happy for her that she is free from pain but she will definitely be missed! I like to imagine that her and my Mom will be hiking the heavenly hills together until we can meet them again! I´m pretty sure my Mom was in her welcoming party when she passed to the other side! Love you all!
Mardi Townsend
October 1, 2021
Joanne was a lovely, friendly, helpful neighbor. Always willing to learn new things, she sat at my side and we plowed together through on-line family history. She was very patient and a quick study. It was also a marvel what she could do with her hands. Again, patience and determination seemed to be her forte. Our neighborhood has lost one of its gems. Love and prayers to the whole family.
Deborah Cartwright
October 1, 2021
I have fond memories of eating your wife and mother's cookies, attending Heidi's birthday parties as a kid, and how she always greeted me kindly when she saw me at Bonneville and Clayton. She was truly a remarkable woman, making everyone feel important.
Carol Coombs Schuster
September 30, 2021
Your friends at NWL Architects
September 29, 2021
My grandma was a Van Boerum and I would like to extend my condolences to the family. I wish I would have known her, she sounds like a beautiful person.
Cori Owens
September 28, 2021
Howard, I was sadly surprised to learn of your sweet Joanne's passing. What a wonderful tribute is her obituary. Love and hugs to you. Bruce also sends his condolences.
Dixie (Petersen) Jackson
September 27, 2021
Howard, I was sorry to hear about Joanne. She was the kindest, most wonderful person. Chani was especially sad and told us about having dinner at your home several times in years past. She was a wonderful mother, wife and grandmother for sure! You always treated her with such loving, tender care. We have missed seeing you both, and wish you all the best in the coming years. Sincerely, Doug, Holly, Anj, and Chani
Doug Lineback and family
September 27, 2021
Dear Bishop Howard Van Boerum and family, thank you for sharing your wife and mother with our entire University Ward at that critical juncture in our lives. She became a surrogate mother to all in our Ward as the two of you taught us how to have a happy marriage and family for years to come. She was such a wonderful lady. Thank you for inviting us all to your beautiful home and letting us be a part of your lives. She was already an Angel many years ago, before departing mortality-surely she will fit right in to her new environment as she prepares a place for each of you, and as she continues to minister to you from the other side. We look forward to greeting her in the eternities, where I´m sure she will help make Heaven Heaven for each of you and all of us. We love you and Joanne and will be praying for you and your family at this time. With love, the Stakers
Mike Staker, M.D.
September 27, 2021
Howard, I send my most sincere condolences. I never had the privilege of meeting Joanne, but I can see she is a wonderful woman! It has been wonderful working with you as you have assisted us at the Church Offices.
Paul Crossley
September 26, 2021
Howard and family, I'm very sorry to hear of Joanne's passing. I always liked her and enjoyed her kindness. You are all fortunate to have had her as your wife and mother. May your hearts be filled with wonderful memories of joyous times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Tom Monfrooy
September 24, 2021
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