Joan Carol Watson Ruplinger unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep sometime in the late night before, or the early morning of November 12, 2022. Joan is an elect daughter of our Heavenly Father, who embraced His restored Gospel when she first received it during her early 20’s and throughout the rest of her 80 years of life. She was a woman of great faith, loving compassion, and filled with a heart full of selfless service.
Joan was born in Niagara Falls, New York on October 10, 1942, to Ellsworth (Jack) Huffman Watson, and her mother Sarah (Sally) Elizabeth Perry. Joan had one older brother, Donald Ellsworth Watson, who was 2 years older.
In her later teen years, Joan was invited to go live with her grandmother, Carrie (Ginger) Estelle Skinner, who lived on an Avocado Ranch in the San Diego, CA area. Joan graduated from Kearny Mesa High School, and then attended San Diego City College. During her time in school at the college, Joan was chosen as the May Queen for the Sorority and Fraternity she associated with. It was during this time that Joan met Michael Ruplinger.
Michael was privileged to baptize Joan as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and eventually the two were married on November 22, 1963, and made their first home together in Provo, Utah. They were later sealed for all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple in November of 1965.
Joan was very supportive of her husband, Michael, while he earned his engineering degree at BYU. During their time in Provo, Joan gave birth to their son, Adam Wade, and 3 years later to their first daughter, Seana Lea. After Mike graduated, Mike and Joan made their way back to San Diego, and then out to Denver Colorado, followed by a few years in Peoria, Illinois where Joan’s 3rd baby, and 2nd daughter, Kari Michele was born. Almost immediately after Kari’s birth, Mike and Joan took their little family to live and work for Caterpillar Tractor Company in Bogotá, Colombia, down in South America.
While in Bogotá, Joan, who has always been a major animal lover, was able to have a Blue and Gold Macaw named Roberta, and a wild Ocelot cub, named Manchi, not to mention several Boxer dogs which Mike and Joan greatly loved and enjoyed breeding, raising, and competing in dog shows over the years in Colombia, California and in Utah. While living in Bogotá, Joan was called to serve as the District Relief Society President for the little LDS branch, Rama Cinco, (Branch #5) in downtown Bogotá.
In 1975, Joan and her family moved back to the USA and made their home for the next 20 or so years in Huntington Beach, CA. A few years after arriving back in the USA, Joan’s husband, Michael, decided to leave Caterpillar and start his own businesses. Joan was an integral part of making those companies, A-1 Land Clearing and M.K. Arms, and MK Construction, run successfully from the administrative end of things.
While living in the Fountain Valley 2nd Ward, in Huntington Beach (South) Stake, Joan served in many leadership capacities in the Primary, Young women’s and Relief Society organizations.
Eventually toward the end of the 1980’s when all 3 of Joan’s kids were done with High School and had either gone on missions, served in the military, and then moved to Utah to go to school, Joan left Huntington Beach with Mike to go make a new home, first in southern Utah, in the little town of Beaver about 90 minutes north of St. George, and also farther up north in West Haven, Utah, and then eventually in West Point, which is near Layton and Ogden area. During Joan and Mike’s time in Utah they were privileged to become in-laws to Hal Johnson, Gary Cox, and Heide Duckert-Ruplinger, which then lead to Joan becoming a beloved grandma. All in all, Joan and Mike were grandparents to 11 grand kids: Julia, Kristina, Nikolas & Alex Ruplinger; Luke, Calvan, Mitch, Garett & Lauryn Johnson; and last but not least, Kira and Savannah (Sunni) Cox. To date, there have also been 7 great-grandchildren and 2 on the way, who have joined our family and can call Joan, “Great Grandma.”
Joan has always loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ immensely. She went above and beyond with every calling she served in. Not only did Joan magnify her callings in her various wards or branches to the best of her ability; she was also very supportive of her husband Mike when he served in Elder’s quorum Presidencies and on Stake High Counsels, etc. Joan, as a true, eternally yoked partner with Michael, together were both great examples of giving all they could to be of service to others. Often times Joan would be caught doing good, making special meals to take over to the homes of other families in her ward who had a death or illness or some other unexpected hardship, and Joan was always there, ready to serve and take prepared meals to the families in need. Joan was also a huge supporter of the Lord’s missionaries in that she was always inviting the full-time missionaries over to have dinner at our home, both in South America and in Huntington Beach as well.
In her last year, after her husband Michael passed away last January, Joan often talked about how much she missed her husband and how much she craved to be with him again. She would also talk about how much she would like it if she was able to pass away peacefully in her sleep. We suppose that Heavenly Father blessed her with her last wish in mortality.
Joan was preceded in death by both of her parents, Ellsworth (Jack) Huffman Watson, Sarah (Sally) Elizabeth Perry; stepmother, Kathy Watson; as well as her older brother, Donald Watson. She is the last to be called to pass over the veil and into the Spirit world.
As her children, and grandchildren, we would like to extend our gratitude to all those who have sent myriad expressions of condolences and sorrow at Joan’s passing and thank you for your kindness and empathy during this difficult time.
For those who would like to attend Joan’s funeral /memorial service, we welcome your attendance on Friday December 9, 2022, at the West Point 18th Ward Chapel, located at 2865 West 800 North, West Point, UT. There will be a visiting time to meet and greet with family members from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. and the service will commence at approximately 11:00 a.m. The interment will follow immediately after the service at the West Point City Cemetery.
Services entrusted to Lindquist’s Syracuse Mortuary, 869 South 2000 West, Syracuse, Utah.