Joan Evelyn (Grelland) Purdum, 85, of Camano Island, Wash., passed away peacefully and surrounded by her beloved husband and family on Monday, October 29 at 9:48 p.m.
Joan was born Aug. 25, 1933, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. As the second of four children, she grew up in a home where faith and music were woven into the fabric of her loving family.
She learned to play piano and played the organ in church when she was young, as well as singing alto in choir most of her life. She missed being involved in church in her later years due to ongoing health issues, but her love for her savior was a steady hand in her life.
After graduating from high school in Prince Albert, Joan moved to Windsor, Ontario, for work, and from there to the U.S., where she eventually became a citizen. She was proud to be an American!
It was during that time that she became a mother to her three children, who would ultimately make her a grandmother and great-grandmother.
In 1979 Joan married the love of her life, Gerald "Jerry" Purdum, in Edmonds, Wash. They began a story book romance and adventure that lasted the rest of her life. Jerry swept her off her feet and together they traveled the world and all 50 states. During his career, they lived in five states, and eventually retired in their dream home on Camano Island.
She spent the rest of her life surrounded by her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as countless relatives and wonderful friends.
Joan retired from banking in 1979 and then spent a lot of her time volunteering. From hospitals, Meals on Wheels, and giving out coffee and refreshments to weary travelers at the I-5 rest stop with the American Legion, she had a huge heart for helping others.
Joan was an accomplished seamstress, and also loved to crochet. She was a fantastic cook and hosted many gatherings over the years as well. She bowled for many years with her husband in Stanwood in the Senior League, where she maintained a surprisingly high average.
In the last few years as she slowed down, she liked to read, have lunch with friends and spend time with her husband and family. She loved playing cards, and Phase 10 was her favorite game. It became a huge family tradition, and the running joke was that Grandma usually won!
She was a longtime member of the Daughters of Norway in Silvana where she was the social director, and a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary as a past president. She would tell you that her biggest accomplishment however, was the amazing, big and loving family that adored her and that she loved so much.
Joan is survived by her beloved husband Jerry, her three children: Debbie (John) DeLeo, Fred (Youwei) Cramer, and Johanne (Matthew) Miller; three stepchildren, Dana (Jay ) Volk, Vicki Urias, and Scott Purdum; 12 grandchildren: Johnny, Mark, Steve, Scott, Chad, Cory, Michael, Warren, Darren, Krystal, Stephanie and Gabriel, and 10 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Olaf and Johanne Grelland, her brother Richard Grelland and sisters Ruth McCulloch and Arlene Wardrop.
Joan's family would like to thank the staff, and especially the nurses and aids of Josephine Caring Community in Stanwood for their amazing care and genuine love for Joan.
We will celebrate Joan's life with a service at 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Stanwood, Wash.