Surrounded by the love of family, Joan Catherine England of Arvada Colorado passed peacefully in her home on September 1, 2023, after a brief illness.
Joan was born in Little Chute Wisconsin on February 19, 1936, to the late John and Myrtle Wildenberg. The youngest of three siblings, Joan lived life to the fullest and took her academics seriously. After being named Salutatorian from St. John High School she continued her education at St Agnes School of Nursing in Fon Du Lac, WI where she graduated with honors as a Registered Nurse.
Following graduation, Joan moved to Denver to start a distinguished career in nursing. This move is when life really started picking up speed. Following a fun day of skiing in Loveland, she and her friends stopped in the Red Ram Saloon (Georgetown, CO) for a little après ski. Little did she know this is where she would meet her future husband, James “Pat” England. And on October 17th, 1959, they began what would become a 59-year marriage. They welcomed their first born, Robert Myles on August 7th, 1960. Less than two-years later, on June 15th of 1962, they welcomed twins Jeffrey Lance and Jennifer Lynn to the family. These three children created a purpose and passion that was aligned with her lifelong passion of service and care. Joan’s scope of nursing included many different specialties within the hospital system. However, her passion was always Labor & Delivery. This comprised of everything from patient care to senior leadership.
Joan was a renaissance woman with many interests, talents, and passions. She loved and was extremely talented at sewing, quilting, knitting, and crocheting. She grew beautiful flowers, and every year was eager to harvest and can vegetables from Pat’s exceptionally large (quarter acre) garden. She loved music and while her favorites remained Bill Haley and the Comets & Tommy Dorsey, she listened to everything from folk to rock and roll. She was never without a book or two and the authors of choice were as complex and epic as she was. Whether it was Thor Heyerdahl’s (Kon Tiki) or James Michener’s (Centennial) or Louise Penny’s (The World of Curiosities) she loved getting lost in the pages of almost anything.
Up to the time of her illness Joan was incredibly active. She embraced the multitude of friendships and connections her activities created. She golfed in two leagues, Lake Arbor and Applewood where she also served as President of the Women’s league for many years. She loved the game and even posted a couple of “holes in one”. And for those of you who teed it up with her over the years, you know how much she enjoyed looking for and finding lost golf balls. She loved that almost as much as the game itself. She bowled (136 average), played bridge and poker and enjoyed her trips “up the hill” to try her luck with the slots.
Joan was terrific in the kitchen and Pat was known for telling her as he finished his plate “that was one of my favorites” which always made her smile. She loved providing for her family, whether it was repairing the knees on a pair of jeans, making sure the lunches were all ready for school the next day or making sure her flower garden was well watered. Occasionally, a care package would show up and inside, wrapped in discarded waxed cereal bags (that she refused to throw away), would be a few dozen of her best snickerdoodles and sugar cookies, and occasionally of those previously mentioned found golf balls . She allowed nothing to fall through the cracks and she did it with vigor, grace and a determination that simply could not be missed.
Joan’s legacy is held by each of us here and welcomed into Heaven where she is reunited with her husband Pat, her parents John and Myrtle, brother Robert along with many relatives and friends.
Joan is survived by sons Bob (Kelli Kingsbury) England, Jeff (Kari Swanson) England, her daughter Jenny (Leonard) Peters, her sister Dolores Barta, her grandchildren Tasha (Ira) Keefe, Madison England, Jared (Dani) Swanson, Erik (Madison) Swanson and her six great grandchildren; Sarah and John Keefe, Kennedy and Crew Swanson and Toby and Parker Swanson.
Funeral Services will be held on September 14th at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Lakewood Colorado. Reception to follow immediately at the church. Internment services at Ft Logan National Cemetery at 2:00 pm.