Nature 42

Joan E. Schmidt

August 9, 1937 ~ April 25, 2021 (age 83)


Joan Elaine (Burdsall) Schmidt passed away April 25, 2021 in Tacoma, WA from a sudden illness. She was born to Lawrence and Georgia Burdsall in Elnora, Indiana on August 9, 1937. In 1958 she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Medical Technology, which was put to full use during a 40-year career that came to a close with retirement from Harrison Memorial Hospital in 2011.

After marrying her husband Bob in 1958, they first made a home in Indianapolis before starting a family by adopting twins in 1964 and then adding a daughter in 1967. The family relocated to several places in the Midwest before moving to Gig Harbor in 1978, where Joan spent the rest of her life. Joan and Bob loved to travel, and did so extensively both domestically and internationally.

Always the center of organization in every room she was in, Joan was an invaluable colleague, an exceptional caregiver to her husband Bob, and a longtime active member of the First Christian Church of Tacoma. She also gave generously of her time to organizations devoted to cancer research and treatment. Joan was a faithful friend, and had many relationships that transcended geography and time.

Joan was predeceased by Bob, her husband of 62 years; her daughter Linda; and her sisters Jan and Rose. She is survived by her daughter Kat Johnsen, son Bill (Dee Montpetit), her beloved and loving companion Bill Kroenert; and grandchildren Michael, Matthew, and Genevieve. We will miss her sharp wit and vast and practical wisdom. She has been and continues to be at the center of our lives, and will be greatly missed by all those who had the privilege to know her.

A private graveside ceremony will be held on April 29. Gifts in lieu of flowers may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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