Joan Deschaine Wautlet passed away peacefully at home, exactly as she wanted, on the afternoon of November 15, 2021. She was 89. Joan was born Joanna Marie Deschaine on the longest and hottest day of the year, June 21, 1932, in Menominee, Michigan. Her parents, Exore and Anna Hornick Deschaine had four children and Joan was their third child. She was the first in her family to live past the age of 80. Joan was known by many names: Mom, Hanna, Jo and Aunt Jo. She touched many lives and was loved by all. Joan married the love of her life, William (Bill) Lawrence Wautlet, a young soldier, on July 28, 1951, despite the fact that her father opposed the marriage. He did not think Bill could “keep her in nylons.” Even though Bill passed in 1998, Joan was a loyal and loving wife to Bill until her final breath and never removed her wedding ring. As a dedicated wife of an Army Master Sergeant, Joan traveled the world with Bill, and she was quite proud of her efficiency at packing and unpacking their household when they were stationed at different military bases. Some of her most cherished memories are from the times she and Bill lived on base: Fort Smith, Arkansas when she and Bill were first married and they would save pennies and share a 15 cent soda at the local soda fountain on Friday nights; Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where her daughter Ann Marie was born; Fulda, Germany for three years; Fort Ord in Monterey, California, where her son William (Will) Joseph was born; Okinawa, Japan, where she met Jeannette and Larry Schlernitzauer and Father Tony, who became life-long friends; and, finally, Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, where she and Bill settled and called home. Joan was blessed with a full and long life. It was a life well lived filled with love and joy. She remembered her childhood with fondness, playing jacks with her best friend MaryAnn, pin the tail on the donkey, hide and seek, hopscotch, Red Rover, riding her bike, roller-skating, ice skating and reading every book in the library. Her greatest joys in her adult life were her children, Ann and Will; her grandsons, Stephen and Allen; and her in-law daughter and son, Brenda and Eric. She was an excellent student and a math whiz all her life who could calculate her grocery bill to the pennies. She was so good at math that she kept the books for her high school while a student and worked as a bookkeeper in her 20s. Joan wanted to be an accountant; however, her father did not think that women should go to college. After settling in El Paso, she worked at Cloth World for 27 years until she retired. Joan was exceptionally creative and talented when it came to sewing, crocheting, arts and crafts, and baking. She was known for her beautifully sewn Barbie clothes, inspiring angel creations, soft baby blankets crocheted with love and her delicious homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls. The friends she made over her life, especially those from Cloth World, Red Hats and Warm Babies, meant the world to her. Joan was a devout Catholic who never missed a Sunday service or Holy Day of Obligation and was welcomed in heaven by the Holy Spirit. Bill was there to greet her with a big bear hug and kiss and an enthusiastic “Welcome home babe!” Her mother, father, sisters, brother, friends and dogs who preceded her in death were also there to welcome Joan. Those left behind on this earthly plane are comforted in knowing she is healthy once again and having the time of her life. Mom, Hanna, Jo and Aunt Jo, will forever be with us in our hearts and in our memories. Joan is survived by her daughter Ann (Eric), son Will (Brenda), grandsons Stephen and Allen (Hannah), numerous nieces and cousins. A celebration of life will be held at 11:30am, followed by Mass at 12:30pm on December 14, 2021, at Sunset Funeral Homes on Hondo Pass. The celebration of life and Mass will also be livestreamed at: www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net for those unable to attend in person. Graveside services will be at 2:00pm at Fort Bliss National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to the Fisher House Foundation at: www.fisherhouse.org. Services entrusted to Sunset Funeral Home Northeast. Please visit her online memorial at www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net.
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