JoAnn Taft

JoAnn Taft, 80, passed Nov. 6, 2020, in Sunburst, Mont.

JoAnn was born Jan. 4, 1940, in Cardston, Alberta, Canada, to Samuel and Elsa Stapleton. JoAnn’s mother died while she was young and JoAnn came and stayed with her Aunt Marie and Walter Clark in 1956. 

While she was staying with them, and working for her family, she met the love of her life, Ernest “Ernie” Taft. They became high school sweethearts and were married at the Lutheran Church in Sunburst on Sept. 2, 1961. 

JoAnn was a graduate of Northern Montana College, with a two-year education degree. She went back to school and got her bachelor’s degree and finished putting Ernie through college. She taught in Great Falls as a first grade teacher, then a third grade teacher in Havre. In 1969, Ernie and JoAnn leased an uncle’s farm and later bought Ernie’s family farm, where they raised three children together. 

JoAnn was an active member of the Lutheran Church of Sunburst, where she worked and served effortlessly and without wanting recognition for our church and Lutheran World Relief. She was a Jaycee, Lions Club member, a community volunteer and took the community to her heart. She was also known for her loving friendships.

JoAnn was a very outgoing person, who always had a smile and a kind word to share to everyone she met. She was a generous person who loved the Lord. She worked hard all her life right alongside Ernie, and she ended her farm years as the farm boss when Ernie retired.

JoAnn is survived by her husband, Ernest; her two daughters, Wendy (Jay) McAlpine, and Brenda (Steven) Bonilla; six grandchildren; eight great-grand-children and two more soon-to-be great-grandchildren.

JoAnn was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Mike; and several siblings. 

Any memorials can be given to the Lutheran Church of Sunburst or charity of your choice. Condolences can be made to JoAnn’s memorial page at