Contributed photo

Joanne Terry | 1931-2021

Joanne Louise Terry died Jan. 28, 2021. She was born in Chinook, Montana, on Feb. 25, 1931, to John Hartwig and Karin Louise May. At age five, requiring extensive orthopedic surgery, she spent six months at Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane. Her mother, having left a difficult marriage back in Montana, resettled herself and Joanne in Wilbur, Washington, where Louise eventually remarried, to Jacob Walters, a wheat farmer.

Like most farm children Joanne was called upon to work on the ranch. She learned in her early teens to operate a tractor to pull the combine, drove the wheat truck, and milked the cows. A real cowgirl, Joanne developed a lifelong love of horses, training them, and often rode bareback. She once won a jumping event by choosing to compete bareback. In 1948 she was voted Rodeo Queen by the citizens of Wilbur. Joanne earned her airplane pilot’s license at age 16, making solo flights to distant towns for farm machinery parts.

In 1949, she went to Whitworth College in Spokane, majoring in Home Ec. There she met and married her first husband, Randall Hucks, in 1951. As well as a mother of two young children and homemaker, Joanne worked to supplement the family income. She worked as a bookkeeper, and taught sewing for Singer Sewing Machine Co. during their Port Angeles years.

In 1964, the family relocated to Seattle so that Joanne could return to college. She attended Seattle U and UW, specializing in Nutrition. During this time, the marriage ended in divorce. She then became a sewing teacher at Holy Names Academy in Seattle, and later a counselor and teacher for Re-evaluation Counseling.

In 1967, she married her second husband, William J. Terry. Bill, who had been in the 10th Mountain Division in WWII, introduced her to skiing and sailing. They bought property on Johns Island and built a summer cabin in 1967. Bill also introduced Joanne to foreign travel in Europe and Mexico. They sailed with friends in Scandinavia, and the French canals. During this time Joanne became involved with Hospice, initially as a volunteer, and later was hired by Group Health in Seattle as their first Hospice Volunteer Coordinator. After Bill Terry retired, they built a house on San Juan Island, at Cattle Point. Two years after the house was finished, Bill died of cancer in 1993.

In 1997, she met her third husband, Thomas Metke, marrying in January 1999. Tom and she continued traveling, adding Thailand, Cambodia, Croatia and the Bahamas to her life list. When Tom retired in 2008, they took up RVing, spending winters in the southern California desert.

Joanne was a prolific artist and craftsperson: painting in oils and watercolors, sculpting, pottery, basketry, and photography. She won many ribbons at the San Juan County Fair, and a $500 prize from the New York Times for one of her photographs. She was also a talented musician and singer. She played the church organ as a teenager, African marimba as a 15-year member of Kubatana on San Juan Island, and sang soprano with San Juan Singers. Her passion for art and life won her many friends over the years.

Joanne is survived by her husband Tom Metke, her younger brothers, Ted Walters (Roma) and Tom Walters (Karen), her children Diane Berger and William Hucks (Dana), her stepchildren Scott Terry (Sharon), Vanessa Sorensen (John), Martin Metke (Noriko), and Ian Metke (Jasmine), and many grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Remembrances may be made to Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of San Juan Island and Shriners Hospital for Children of Spokane.