Cover photo for Joanne Beverly James Hanson's Obituary
Joanne Beverly James Hanson Profile Photo
1932 Joanne 2024

Joanne Beverly James Hanson

March 18, 1932 — March 15, 2024

Joanne Beverly James Hanson returned to her heavenly home early Friday morning, March 15, 2024. She passed of natural causes, three days before her 92nd birthday, surrounded by family in Ogden, Utah.

She was born March 18, 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah to William John James and Norma Jane White James. She was the oldest of their two children, both daughters. She was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was an active and zealous member of the church for her entire life.

She graduated from West High School in Salt Lake City and later moved to San Francisco where she met her future sweetheart, Emil Hanson, who was serving as an MP in the US Army, stationed at the Presidio. They met while attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where Emil was a new convert. They married September 16, 1955 in the Salt Lake Temple, then welcomed five sons and one daughter.

After raising their six children, Joanne returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. She ran a preschool for many years, then was an instructor and leader in two local programs for at-risk children where she had the opportunity to positively influence many young lives.

Over the years she has served in many church leadership callings her wards and stakes, and 14 years in Cub and Webelos Scouting. She also wrote an extensive History of Weber Stake at the request of the stake presidency.

The descendent of eight families who crossed the plains to Utah, Joanne was also a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and was active for decades in sharing the stories of those in her family who sacrificed so much for their faith and posterity.

After retirement, Joanne and Emil served as missionaries at the Ogden Regional Family History Center (now Ogden FamilySearch Center) for 22 years, 15 of which Emil was Director and Joanne was an expert in family history research and often taught as many as seven classes per week over her decades of service there. Generations of center patrons, “I Didn’t Know That!” fans, and “Writing Your Personal History” writers at the FamilySearch Center and in other locations where she taught these and other classes, eagerly share their love for her tireless efforts in spreading her love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and her passion for family history research and especially family stories.

Joanne was a excellent student, early graduator, adventurous explorer, traveler, cook, seamstress, homemaker, college graduate, educator, childcare innovator, ceaseless volunteer, volunteer organizer, poet, playwright, play director, music lover, philosopher, prolific writer, needle-pointer, scout den and webelos leader, American patriot, history encyclopedia, daughter of Utah pioneers, genealogist, family history research and personal history instructor, family history conference organizer, cemetery tour creator, scriptorian, missionary, church calling magnifier, constant example of love, unwavering supporter, servant of God, disciple of Jesus Christ, and the finest mother anywhere.

Joanne was preceded in death by her sweetheart and husband of 63 mortal years (and another 5 years of eternity) three of her sons: Brian, Brad (wife Cindy), and Keith (wife Teresa), her parents, and her sister Dorothy (“Dot”). She is survived by her daughter and two sons: Joy (husband Brett), Grant (wife Kammy), and Larry (wife Lisa) and 19 grandchildren and their spouses, two grand-kitties, 34 great-grandchildren, and by a special niece, Vickie Hooten (husband Herman - deceased) and a nephew, Mike Shapiro.

A celebration of her wonderful life will be held at 6:30 PM on her birthday, this Monday, March 18, 2024 at the Ogden FamilySearch Center, 321 E 22nd Street in Ogden, Utah.

Consistent with her lifetime of teaching, Joanne donated her body to the University of Utah Body Donor Program where she will instruct the next generation of medical professionals. Interment will take place at a later date at Lindquist Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Rd., South Ogden.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, March 18, 2024

Starts at 6:30 pm (Mountain time)

Ogden Family Search Center

321 E 22nd St, Ogden, UT 84401

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