Joan Loree (Stensen) Hoover died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, in Edmonds, WA in May 2022 at age 94.
Joan was predeceased by her husband of almost 70 years, Bernie; her son, Bradford (Kathy) of Sacramento, CA, and her siblings Byron Stensen (Ginny) and Louise Fry (Howard). She is survived by 3 of her 4 children: Michelle (John) Drain, Tamara (Mark) Sutton, and Todd (Carla) Hoover, all residing in Edmonds. Grandchildren Ben, Katie (Scott), Terra (Zach), Laura (Sterling), Natalie; and great grandchildren Roran, Corbin, Callan, Aria and Soren. Plus numerous nieces and nephews, including Byron’s children: Leslie, Paul, Marcia & Julie, and Louise’s son Bill Fry.
Joan was born in Everett, Washington, to parents Jennie (Rude) of Snarum, near Oslo and Louis Stensen, of Baldersheim, near Bergen. Both were born in Norway, but met in Everett. She joined a sister, Louise, age 10 and brother Byron, 7 1/2. (Joan was baptized in April, 1928, on the same day that the man she would marry was born!) She adored her big sister Louise, and took her first cross country train trip at age 10 to visit her in Boston. She continued to love travel for the next 75 years. Joan and Louise also traveled to Florida to celebrate Byron’s return from his WWII service and recovery from his time as a Prisoner of War.
Joan was a voracious reader and loved books, school, and learning. If there were no such thing as a librarian, Joan would have invented one. As soon as she could write, she began creating diaries, journals and lists, organizing all of the information in her life. Eventually she typed and filed lists, recipes, travel details - everything that could be categorized. We still know how she rated every book she read, every movie she watched, every recipe she made, and more. Her records and file cards could fill a memorial library!!
After graduating from Everett Junior College in 1947, she continued her education (enjoying parties, dances, and sports) at Washington State College in Pullman, majoring in foreign languages - French, Spanish & German. While obtaining her degree from the University of Washington Library School, friends introduced her to her future husband, Bernie Hoover, who was getting his degree from the UW School of Pharmacy. By 1952, Bernie was drafted, they had their first child, and the family landed in Germany. Missing their daughter and granddaughter so much, Joan’s parents followed the Hoovers for a tour of Europe and a visit to their Norwegian homeland.
Back in the states, Bernie & Joan bought their first view house, in Ballard, and added 3 more children to the family. When they purchased Maughan/Queen Anne Pharmacy, which they owned from 1962 to 1989, they moved to Queen Anne and became members of Queen Anne Lutheran Church. They also built a cabin on Lake Tapps for family getaways. They moved from their first QA home to one 2 houses away, with a stunning view of Lake Union, GasWorks park, and the Cascades, then further down the hill to a condo even closer to the Lake. Next was a move to Edmonds in 1994, with a panoramic view of Puget Sound and the Olympics. Later they resided at Cristwood, Sunrise of Edmonds, and finally at home with granddaughter Terra & Zach. Daily snuggles there with great-grandchildren in her last 20 months always brought a smile to her face
Joan knew the joy of having a beloved mother and of being one. She created a home full of love, fun, books, and the scent of baked goods. Devoted to her family, she nurtured the individuality in each of her children. She took great interest in hearing of their adventures and always enjoyed their humor, even if she was the target - her laughter was contagious. It would be fitting to say that she showed them love unconditionally.
Known as a solicitous hostess and excellent baker, she just knew that you needed more to eat, no matter what you said. And her recipes were legendary. The closing comment at many family picnics was “Joan, I simply must have that recipe”. Joan had the recipe for a compassionate, fun, fulfilling life, as well as the recipe for “Blueberry Boy Bait” and other staples.
Particularly after retirement, there were numerous interesting trips across Europe, the Caribbean, North America, New Zealand, and more. Some self guided, some tours, including over 20 cruises. Bernie took scores of photos and slides, and Joan narrated priceless travelogues to go with them.She had a keen interest in other people, and took many photos of local children and school groups. She was a friendly and curious traveler and relished trying new things.
Her consideration and kindness were ingrained to the end. Even when she was not sure where she was, and who she was conversing with, she inquired (even of her children) “How’s your mother?”