Donna Joanne Evans Hodges, 90, was born on August 15, 1929, to Herbert A.C. Evans and Luella Verena (Bench) Evans in Nampa, Idaho, and has returned to our loving Father in Heaven on September 19, 2019. Joanne was an only child to Ace and Luella Evans and was cherished and raised with love.
In Joanne’s early years, the small family of three moved around a lot due to the great depression. Some of Joanne’s earliest memories were of traveling around parts of Idaho, Montana and Canada in the early springtime to sheer sheep. Times were hard and her father was able to provide for the family by relocating them each sheep sheering season to make ends meet. It was July 4, 1933 when her Father finished shearing sheep and the family settled down in Nampa, ID. Over the next several years they relocated to Meridian, ID and this is where Joanne started taking piano lessons from Althea Everett at age seven. Later Joanne meets and starts taking piano lessons from Fern Nolte Davidson, who was also Althea Everett’s teacher. Joanne continues to learn how to play beautiful classical music on the piano for many years and preforms in numerous recitals.
The family moves to Boise, Idaho and then later to a little white house on East Main St in Emmett, Idaho. She played many recitals in Emmett and worked at the Ideal Movie Theatre selling movie tickets. Joanne wanted to attend College and was saving her money because her Father was not going to finance Collage for a “woman”. After graduating from High School Joanne worked as an Assistant Laboratory Technician in the old Mary Secor Hospital and then as an Office Nurse for Dr. Herbert L. Newcombe. This is when Joanne developed the desire to become a registered nurse.
During that summer prior to College Joanne met Floyd Ralph Hodges at a Tri-Stake Young Men and Young Women’s outing at Tripod Meadows. The two didn’t hit it off right away, but as soon as Joanne the piano for him at a mutual friends house, Floyd was smitten with Joanne and asked her on their first date a week after she played for him. Floyd was called on a Mission soon after they fell in love, and Joanne went to Logan Utah to attend nursing school in 1949.
Floyd returned from his Mission and they were married and sealed for all time and eternity in the Logan Utah LDS Temple on September 28, 1950. The newly married couple lived for a short time in Northern California before relocating back to Emmett, Idaho. Shortly thereafter Floyd was called by Uncle Sam to serve during the Korean War. Joanne followed Floyd from Camp Roberts to Fort Benning, Georgia. The young couple welcomed their first daughter born in the Fort Benning Hospital. Floyd was discharged at the end of October 1953 and the small family returns to Idaho living in Boise. Three more children were born to this loving family in Boise, ID. Joanne supplemented the family income by teaching piano lessons.
Floyd was offered a job at the Pacific Lumber Co in Scotia, CA and the family of six moved again. The fifth and sixth child was born in Fortuna, CA. It was 1964 when Joanne was bitten by the Genealogy ‘bug’ and started doing family history research. She loved the church and enjoyed doing genealogy. It was on a Genealogy research trip that Joanne and Floyd were involved in a horrific motorcycle accident. It was due to Floyd’s injuries that he could no longer work for the Pacific Lumber Co and the family decided to move back to Boise, ID. Joanne decided to return to college studies to obtain her nursing degree and registered at Boise State University to finish her degree. After graduation she was employed briefly at St. Lukes Hospital, and eventually was employed at the Boise Convalescent Center as the Director of Nurses.
Joanne and Floyd retired in 1985 and began a new adventure traveling around the United States in their Motorhome. They worked many summers in the Yellowstone National Park and spent winters playing in the Colorado River Adventures Club parks along the Colorado River, including many winters staying in Yuma, AZ. In 1991 they returned from traveling to Boise, and were camp hosts at the Black Canyon Dam above Emmett, ID. The couple later rented a cute little house on Locus St in Emmett, ID with some acreage. They loved this property, and had room for horses, a garden, and to have their grand children come a stay on weekends and during school summer breaks. In 2005 they moved back to Boise, ID and resided at 4901 Edson St until her passing away.
Joanne was talented, intelligent, caring, compassionate and loved her Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ with all her heart and soul. She was full of grace and faith. She loved her family and will be greatly missed. Joanne is preceded by her loving parents, her sweetheart, Floyd Ralph Hodges and her precious daughter, Rebecca Joanne Hodges. She is survived by her children, Vicki (Hodges) Wallace, Floyd ‘Ace’ Hodges, David Hodges, Melody Hodges and Weston Hodges, several loving grandchildren, and wonderful great grandchildren. ‘Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ Joshua 1:9