Joan B. Hughes died on Jan. 18, 2011, in Everett, Wash., near her son and daughter-in-law. She was a lifetime member of the Pioneers of Alaska, born Nov. 10, 1930 to Deming Loren O’Connor and Florence Franconi O’Connor. Joan was later adopted to the loving family of Marion and Bessie Bucey.
Joan married John A. Baker of Everett and had a son, Jesse, in 1952 in Ketchikan. Several years later, Joan and family moved to Wrangell. However, Wrangell did not work for Joan and she moved on to Juneau after 13 years of marriage.
In Juneau, Joan completed some intense studies and as a result went to work for the State of Alaska. She had several positions with the state and enjoyed them all. After 30 years of service, Joan retired and spent most of her retirement years in Juneau.
Joan was an avid gardener and loved wild Alaska flowers. She was dedicated to her animals and treated them like they were her children.
Joan was a member of the Christian Science Church of Ketchikan. She was also a member of Beta Sigma Phi.
Joan was preceded in death by her partner and soulmate Virgil Pfitter, with which she shared many wonderful outings.
Joan is survived by her son, Jesse Baker and daughter-in-law Susana; a sister, Mary Hastings; nephew Ben Hastings; Sheila Zastrow and husband Ed of Ketchikan; Claire Guyatt of Texas; three grandchildren; Maria Graham and husband Mathew; April Blakemore; Jessie Jr. and wife Kim; three great-grandchildren; Joey Cole and Carter; daughter-in-law Darleen Carpenter; Kim and Hayden Garrison; and Ramona O’Dell and son Jack of Ketchikan.
A private service will be held with immediate family. A memorial service is planned in Ketchikan at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Providence Hospice of Snohomish County, 2731 Wetmore Ave., Suite 500, Everett, WA 98201.
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