Joan Marie Sumner, a longtime resident of The Dalles, Ore., passed away Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, surrounded by her family. Her grandchildren say that Thanksgiving was always her holiday! We will be forever thankful that she was our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend.
Joan Marie was born May 4, 1930, on a bright, sunny Sunday morning in Heppner, Ore., to Paul and Kathleen (Monahan) Hisler. She attended Heppner schools where activities included; rally squad, Girls State representative and Heppner Rodeo Queen. Post high school, Joan attended Eastern Oregon State College, where she was a cheerleader and earned a degree in Education.
Joan married Jim Sumner on June 29, 1952, and they celebrated over 60 years together, until Jim’s passing in 2012.
Joan taught at grade schools in Hood River, Heppner, Ellensburg, Wash., and The Dalles. She and Jim moved to The Dalles in 1960. Joan taught at Joseph G. Wilson Elementary and was the first lay teacher at St. Mary’s Academy. In 1965, she helped initiate the new Head Start program in The Dalles as the first teacher.
Joan was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and volunteered for many local organizations. She worked on Wasco County Red Cross Blood Drives alongside Jim (chairman) for many, many years. Ironically, at age 86, she developed myelodysplastic syndrome and it was donor blood that sustained her.
Joan was a very grounded, joyful person who continued to spread sunshine throughout her life. She was our family cheerleader. She enjoyed her faith, family and many wonderful friends.
Joan is survived by her daughter, Angela Shearer (Jeff); son, Shane; grandsons, Scott Shearer (Erika), Brian Shearer (Kate), Markus Shearer and Brent Sumner; great grandsons, Thomas and Jack Shearer; sister, Francine Bristow (Tom); and brother, Paul Hisler, Jr. (Susan).
Recitation of the Rosary will be 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, with Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Heppner, Ore.
Please join the family for a celebration of a life well lived and a person well loved at the Heppner Elks Lodge following the graveside service.
The family wishes to thank The Springs at Mill Creek staff and Heart of Hospice, for their loving care they request that donations be made to Heart of Hospice, 2621 Wasco St, Hood River, Ore., 97031 in Joan’s memory or to a charity of choice.
Sweeney Mortuary of Heppner is in care of arrangements.
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