Life Story / Obituary
Throughout her rich and rewarding life, JoAnn Anes lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was content in whatever life brought, even when she faced challenges, and her grace and strength were so inspiring. There was no greater gift in JoAnn’s life than her family, and she was filled with such pride and joy to witness her family tree blossom to include many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She cherished every moment she spent with her loved ones, even in the everyday moments. Although she will be deeply missed, JoAnn leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
Life in America during the 1930s was anything but easy as there was a soaring unemployment rate due to the unrelenting grip of the Great Depression. Despite the challenges around them at the time, Peter Morris and Claire Payne (Simmons) Flipse had much to celebrate with the birth of the baby girl they named JoAnn Claire on May 30, 1933. She was the oldest of four children as she was raised in the family home alongside her siblings, Barbara, Martha “Tootsie” and Bill. As the oldest child, JoAnn had her fair share of chores not only helping her mother inside the home but also on the family dairy farm that her father worked. JoAnn also helped raise her younger siblings.
In many ways JoAnn was a young girl of her generation. She was a Campfire Girl, participated in the sewing competition in the local 4-H, and also took piano lessons. JoAnn attended Trinity Congregational Church where she sang in the choir. During her elementary years she attended Kinney School, a one-room schoolhouse, and her high school years found her at Union High School. As a high school student JoAnn lived with her grandmother, Martha Flipse, to help her when needed. After graduating from high school in 1951, she and her friend, Jean Boynton, worked at the Chatterbox restaurant on Mackinac Island that summer.
New and exciting changes were in store for JoAnn when she was set up on a blind date with the man of her dreams in September of 1951. His name was Kenneth W. Anes, and they were smitten. Deeply in love, JoAnn and Ken were married ten days later, eloping to Angola, Indiana. The newlyweds initially settled in Missouri as he was stationed there in the military, but once he was discharged they moved back to Grand Rapids. They moved around a bit but finally settled into a home in Burton Heights where they lived together for 60 years. Together they welcomed five children including Debra, Randy, Laurie, Janet, and Kendra into their hearts and home. JoAnn was actively involved in the lives of her children including as a Bluebird leader and stage mom. Once her children were older she worked as a lunch lady for the Grand Rapids Public Schools for 15 years. The family looked forward to vacations spent camping throughout Michigan as well as several other places throughout the United States. JoAnn was a great cook who was famous for her goulash, pizza burgers, beef and noodles, tomato soup with pork steak and peas (not so welcomed by the kids), and chicken and noodles. She also baked a fantastic apple pie. JoAnn canned and froze many fruits and vegetables each fall.
Throughout her life JoAnn was one to keep busy. She loved knitting and crocheting items and gifts for many family and friends, and she once took a class on making her own silk flowers. JoAnn collected lighthouses of Michigan, and she loved both Black Friday shopping and visiting Shipshewana every year. An avid reader, she enjoyed biographies of country singers, books about the Amish, and reading the daily newspaper. When it came to music she loved country and bluegrass. When their children were older JoAnn and Ken traveled more, often out West to places like California, Las Vegas, and Texas to visit friends. She and Ken loved visiting casinos in Michigan, and the family often turned these into day trips in Randy’s motorhome.
It was while visiting friends in Texas that JoAnn suffered a severe heart attack that required quadruple bypass surgery. Her husband had health issues of his own, and on July 7, 2013, she was deeply saddened with his death. JoAnn soon moved in with her daughter, Janet, and three months later she moved to a condo in Jenison. She continued to savor every moment she spent with her grandchildren as she could never get enough of being with them. JoAnn was so proud of all their accomplishments, and she always had treats at the ready when they visited. Over the years she never forgot a birthday or any of their special events. JoAnn faced additional health issues as well as she suffered a stroke. Her daughter, Kendra, lived with her for two months to help as JoAnn’s health further declined. She was recently admitted to the hospital with gall stones, but returned home after a few days. JoAnn immediately began working on gifts for the grandkids, sorting and wrapping them for Christmas. She soon returned to the hospital where she drew her last breath surrounded by her loving family.
Described as loving, generous, and selfless, JoAnn Anes was a blessing to everyone she met. She was fun-loving and adventurous at times with a zest for life that was truly contagious. A devoted wife and mother, JoAnn treasured these roles, but she just might have argued that nothing was better than being a grandmother and great-grandmother. Deeply loved, she will never be forgotten.
JoAnn C. Anes, (Flipse), aged 83 of Jenison, MI, passed away on Tuesday December 20, 2016 at Mercy Health St. Mary’s. She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter M. and Claire P. Flipse; her husband, Kenneth W. Anes, her daughter, Debra Cornell-Vollema, daughter, Laurie Petrovich-Kellum and her sister, Barbara Mae (James) Walcott, brother, William Flipse brothers-in-law, Neil Noordyke, and Richard Chlebeck; She is survived by her children, Randy (Cindy) Anes, Janet (Lon) Norman, Kendra Anes; 14 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren; her sister, Martha “Tootsie” Noordyk and her loving cat, Miss Kitty Memoo; her sisters in law, and brothers-in-law, Joanne Flipse, Terry (Mae) Anes, Bob (Sandy) Anes, Larry and Barb Anes, Helen Batt, Doris Chlebeck as well as many other nieces, nephews and friends. JoAnn was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother and aunt, who will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered. A service to celebrate JoAnn’s life will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Burial in Rosedale Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet her family at the funeral home on Monday Dec. 26, from 4:00 – 8:00 PM and again on Tuesday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00. Contributions may be made to American Diabetes Assn. To read more about JoAnn’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com