Joanna Mae Kelso Mattson, 94, passed away peacefully, in her daughter’s home, December 10, 2020.
A family service was held December 19 at City View Funeral Home in Salem, and she will be laid to rest with her beloved husband at the City View Cemetery.
The youngest daughter to Samuel and Ruth Kelso she came into this world on March 13, 1926. Joanna enjoyed a happy childhood growing up in Walla Walla, Washington and upon graduation from high school attended the U of Idaho and Spokane business college. From there she moved to Salem to work as a legal secretary before meeting the man of her dreams in 1950. They were married in 1951 where she started her new home and life in Tioga as a loving wife and mother to three children, and friend to a wonderful group of sorority sisters from the Laureate ETA Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and Eastern Star.
After 40 years the Mattsons retired to Salem, Oregon to live closer to family. Living in a retirement community allowed them to continue meeting new friends through golf and pinochle groups, and traveling. Throughout the last 40 years of her life, Joanna and Merle enjoyed their winters in Hawaii, and after his passing in 1999, she continued to visit with her children and grandchildren. It was her home away from home, even traveling there in 2020 before COVID.
Joanna was a beautiful person inside and out, always with a kind encouraging word to all who knew her and loved her. She had a quiet and surprising wit, that always brought us to quick laughter. Also surprising was her love of sports, particularly basketball and specifically the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who counted her as their biggest fan. She spent more time assessing the March Madness spread sheet than all of us put together.
She is survived by daughters, Paula (Gary) Goodrich, Rebecca Ewing, and son Chad (Maribeth), eight grand children and 17 great-grandchildren, all who will continue her wonderful legacy of love and acceptance. She leaves a huge hole in our family and will be greatly missed.
Joanna was preceded in death by her husband Merle, and two brothers.
The family asks, if so inclined, that you make a donation to the Shriners Children’s hospital or your favorite charity.