On May 21, 2021 JoAnne Millward Belk was reunited with her sweetheart of 65 years, Samuel Ray Belk and welcomed home by her father, Andrew Cleon Millward and mother, Thelma Ivy Crapo Millward. Also, her sisters Ivy Ray, Bonnie Harker, and LaWan Caldwell and brothers Gene Millward and Lorain Millward.
JoAnne was born in Fairview, Wyoming March 14, 1938. She was the 6th child of AC and Thelma Millward. She was born into humble circumstances, but into a home filled with love and joy. She carried many happy memories and traditions with her throughout her life.
In 1944 her family moved to Pocatello Idaho, where her father got a job with the railroad. It was here that she met a handsome soldier from North Carolina who was involved in a special research project in Pocatello. They met on a blind date when she was just 16 years old, but he was totally smitten with her beautiful blue eyes. They dated and wrote letters as he served in Florida and Texas. When she was 17 they got engaged and were married June 16, 1956 shortly after she turned 18. The next time his military service took him to Florida, he was not alone and took his young bride with him.
JoAnne had a bright, quick witted mind and could write the best skits and jingles for radio or church or whatever was needed. She was a great seamstress and made many of our clothes and prize-winning Halloween costumes. She also knew how to make great meals from wild game, fish and free potatoes and the most tasty homemade bread ever. She had amazing patience to travel clear across the United states every summer with seven children, a diaper pail in the foot of the car and no video movies or games. She could make more creative things out of junk than anyone.
She loved to learn, and so when her youngest children were in high school she went to college. She graduated in three years from Idaho State University with straight A’s and honors. She taught grade school in Shelley and Firth and loved teaching children to read. She especially loved championing the underdog and working with those who struggled. She taught her children to always help and look out for those who got picked on or needed a friend.
JoAnne is survived by two sisters, Laila Sorensen, and Carolyn Luker, and two brothers, Steve Millward and Dwight Millward. She also leaves behind seven children, Sheila Bingham (Marvin), Val Belk (Loralee), Mark Belk (Laura), Marla Emch (Gary), Flint Belk (Ann), Shandell Hinckley (Troy) and Jana Lund (Bruce). She will be missed by 41 grandchildren, and 59 and ½ great-grandchildren and reunited with two sweet great- granddaughter angels Aurora and Maren that I am sure she has already showered with hugs and kisses and hurt money.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday May 29, 2021 at the LDS Chapel in Pingree Idaho. A viewing will be on Friday from 7-9pm at Manning Wheatley Funeral Chapel (510 N. 12th Ave.) and on Saturday one hour prior to the services.
In lieu of flowers we know our mother would have preferred that donations be made to a charity she was passionate about: nurturingnations.org an organization that rescues and educates underprivileged children in Ghana Africa.