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She lived in Boise City, Okla., during the Dust Bowl and moved to Durango, Colo., in her teens where her father started a dry cleaning business, Fashion Cleaners, located on Main Avenue and later on Second Avenue.
She graduated from Durango High School in 1944, where she met her husband of 57 years, Joseph Mason. They were married in Gallup, N.M.
Joan was a very talented woman. She was a coloratura soprano and attended the Lamont School of Music in Denver, Colo. She played the organ and the piano at Saint Columba Church. She was also an accomplished seamstress, taking great joy in making all the girls in the family beautiful, handmade clothing. She loved planting flowers and trees and made sure she had them wherever she lived. She was a member of the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary and the Tuesday Literary Club.
The family built a cabin at Cascade Creek, near Coal Bank Pass.
During the 1980s, she and Barbara Cornelius, her best friend, operated BJ’s fabric store in the Town Plaza.
Joe and Joan lived in Durango until Joe retired and they relocated to Cedar Hill, N.M., where they built a house facing the San Juan Mountains. Joan always loved a hill with a view. After several years, they needed to be closer to the conveniences of town and moved to Farmington, N.M., where they lived until Joe passed away in 2001.
Wanting to be closer to family and friends, Joan moved back to Durango. After several years, she moved to Pagosa Springs, to be closer to her daughter, Jennifer, and, later, daughter Marguerite.
When Jennifer moved to Colorado Springs, Joan went with her and lived in an assisted living facility, The Palisades, where she resided until she passed away.
She is survived by a sister, Jean Jakino, Houston, Texas, and children; Gary and (Ann) Mason, Poncha Springs, Colo., Gretchen Hirni, Tempe, Ariz., (Terry) and Jennifer Alley, Colorado Springs, Colo., Charlie and (Gayle) Mason, Colorado Springs, Colo., Marguerite Mason, Pagosa Springs, Colo., twelve grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Jan. 17, at the Benet Hill Monastery.