JoAnn Robinson Woodgerd

JoAnn Robinson Woodgerd.

STEVENSVILLE – Our Mom was born to Lester Dexter Robinson and Best Robinson (Humble) on January 9, 1929, in Missoula, Montana. She died peacefully in her sleep, on November 1, 2017 in Stevensville, Montana.

Along with her older brother Dale, she spent her early years at the ranger station on the outskirts of St. Regis, Montana. Her father was the District Ranger and her mother was a teacher in the local schools. She had a paper route and remembered spending time riding her bike around town and interacting with Forest Service employees.

Prior to high school the family moved to Darby, Montana. Her father was the District Ranger and her mother taught in the Darby schools. Mom always remembered her time in high school in Darby with great fondness. She graduated as the valedictorian of her class.

Following high school, Mom enrolled at the University of Montana where, in her first year, she was swept off her feet by her chemistry lab partner. Mom married our father, Wesley Ryland Woodgerd, in July of 1947. Mom worked as a bookkeeper in Missoula while Dad finished school. They also started a family with two sons being born.

Following graduation, Dad began a long career with Montana Fish and Game. This included family stops at the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management near Ovando, Miles City (where a third son was born), Missoula, Glasgow, and finally Helena. Mom worked outside the home off and on, mostly as a bookkeeper, until we moved to Helena.

In Helena, Mom began a relatively short but successful and satisfying career in state government. She worked for the Secretary of State in the Elections Bureau rising to Chief Elections Deputy and a stint as the Chief Deputy Secretary of State. She became an expert on Montana election laws and procedures whose advice was sought by many. Mom was most proud of her appointment and service as a commissioner on Montana’s first Legislative Districting and Apportionment Commission following the passage of the new Montana Constitution in 1972. Mom was also active in the leadership of the Montana League of Women Voters and in Democratic Party politics.

Mom retired with Dad to the Bitterroot Valley in the late 70s. She was active in several community organizations over her many years in the Bitterroot. She served on the Ravalli County Tax Appeal Board and participated in local Democratic party politics.

Mom is survived by her sons; Dave (Theresa Blazicevich) of Stevensville, Tom (Sharon Hubbell) of Helena, and Mark (Gina) of Boise, Idaho. She has 10 grandchildren (Leslie, Jeanette, Nate, Daniel, Amanda, Nicole, Charles, Nathan, Morgan, and John) and 13 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Dale and our Dad.

A service is planned for May 19, 2018, at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula. Her ashes will be scattered with our Dad’s on the family property in the Bitterroot. The family suggests memorials to the Montana Land Reliance or The Montana League of Women Voters, in lieu of flowers. Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula is in charge of arrangements at 406-543-4190 or www.GardenCityFH.com.

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