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October 25, 2021

8/4/2021 2:52:00 PM
Memorial service for Joan Aswegan Aug. 12 in Idaho

Joan Genevieve Aswegan, 81, of St. Maries, Idaho passed away July 30, 2021 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Lewiston, Idaho after a short illness.
Joan was born on Jan. 27, 1940 in Stewartville to Arthur and Genevieve (McHale) Schober. She attended a one-room country school, then graduated from Stewartville High School in 1958.
Following graduation she moved to Rochester, where she worked the telephone switchboard at the Mayo Clinic. While working there she developed a casual friendship with one of the psychiatric patients, Ernest Hemingway.
On June 30, 1962 she married her high school sweetheart, Lorin Aswegan in Stewartville and followed him to Laurel, Maryland where he was stationed in the Army. After Lorin's discharge from the Army in 1963 they returned to Minnesota. After a short stint of living in Renton, Washington they decided that the city life was not the place to call home for two people with a love of country living. In August of 1966 they moved to Plummer, Idaho where Lorin's parents were living and decided to "stay for the winter." It was a very long winter, as it took 31 years before they moved again to the Harrison Flats, to their dream country home.
Unable to have children of their own, Lorin and Joan adopted newborn daughters in 1967 and 1971. In the early years of their marriage, Joan contributed to the family income by babysitting and doing sewing jobs. After her children were in school, she took a job in the cafeteria at the Plummer School where she worked until she retired.
After the death of her husband in 2018 she moved to St. Maries with her two cats Amos and Annie who were her constant companions. In her early years she enjoyed gardening, canning, sewing, and camping. She was active in her church, a Camp Fire Girls leader, and volunteered with the local PTA. In more recent years she was an active member of the local American Legion Auxiliary, the St. Maries Camera Club, and the St. Maries Study Club. Joan was known for her cooking and baking skills, in particular her desserts and cream cheese mints that were constantly requested for wedding receptions, baby showers, and graduation parties.
Although Joan was the picture of a quintessential 1950s housewife complete with aprons, weekly ironing, and full cookie jars, she quietly held two strong beliefs about women.
First of all she believed that women needed a strong network of other women around them. This was evidenced by the circle of female friends she had for years including those who survive her: Janet Stenberg, Bonnie Mickow, Bonita Daniel, Billy Sperber, Pam Grubham, and Lauralee Gibson.
Secondly, she believed strongly in the education of women, both formal and informal. Although her highest level of formal schooling was a high school diploma she was extremely proud of the food service/nutrition certification that she received from North Idaho College. At the time of her death she subscribed to four different newspapers which she read front to back without fail and she was an active member of St. Maries Study Club, a group of women who meet to study and learn about a variety of topics. She was also a huge supporter of Distinguished Young Women of St. Maries and never missed a program.
Joan is survived by her daughter, Shawn (Mike) Walters of St. Maries; grandchildren, Kaittlin Walters and Cassidy (Anthony) Peterson of St. Maries and Isaac Walters of Wilsonville, Oregon; along with great-grandchildren, Aliyah and Zayne Peterson, and a very special "extra" great-grandchild, Blakely Becktel. She is also survived by grandchildren, Blake (Shaunna) Sines of Rathdrum along with their children, Peyton Malam and Brynlee Sines; Troy (Ashley) Sines of Sagle along with their son, Carter; and Dillon Sines of St. Maries, currently stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia.
She is preceded in death by her parents and husband.
The memorial service will be held on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in St. Maries. A gathering of family and friends will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Joan's name to Distinguished Young Women of St. Maries at P.O. Box 713, St. Maries, ID 83861 or the American Legion Auxiliary at 140 Arrhenius Lane, St. Maries, ID 83861.
Cards of sympathy may be sent to Shawn Walters, 1189 Elm Dr., St. Maries, Idahl 83861-2149.
Hodge Funeral Home in St. Maries, Idaho is assisting the family with arrangements.

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