Memorials may be made to Trinity Pathway Hospice or to the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals.
Joanne A. Harper Doran was born May 21, 1931, in Fairfield, Iowa, to Margaret and Dave Harper. As a child her family called her “Pody”. She attended Fairfield High School and led their marching band as a drum majorette. She was an avid piano player and had a gift for singing. Joanne met Cliff Doran while working at Martin’s drugstore; he was a salesman. Their first date was supposed to be attending a local dance; instead they watched sparks fly literally and figuratively while witnessing a barn burn down. They eventually got to the dance and would continue their favorite pastime of dancing to big band and country music. They wed on December 10, 1950, in Fairfield, Iowa.
Joanne was the quintessential mother; her family and children were everything to her. She doted and worried, cooked, cleaned and did it all. She would take on household projects with fervor. She stripped and stained all the woodwork in her home. She made everyone feel welcome that walked in her door. There was always enough food even when someone walked in unexpectedly. She was a natural cook; no one, but no one baked a pie like Joanne. She made Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners look so effortless and was used to cooking for an “army”. If her children weren’t home for their birthday, she always made sure to call and sing “Happy Birthday” (along with Cliff) over the phone. It was her special touch to make them feel special.
As a native Iowan, it was natural for Joanne to be an Iowa Hawkeye fan. Watching football and basketball was a favorite Saturday afternoon tradition for her and Cliff. She enjoyed attending University of Iowa’s football games in person; one of the highlights was watching the band march by while tailgating. Joanne also loved cheering on her children and grandchildren at their local softball games. As mentioned earlier, Joanne had a talent for playing the piano “by ear”. It was always a joy listening to her play and sing “Afraid” and Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”. She would sing duets of “Near You” or “49/51” with Cliff. Music was a big part of Joanne’s life. She would tune in every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. to Guy Lombardo’s Orchestra television show.
Joanne was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She was involved with the PTA at St. Joseph’s School. She was a lifelong member of the VFW. She worked at O’Melia’s Supper Club for 28 years, retiring at 70. In her later years, she and Cliff enjoyed trips to Branson, Denver, Florida, and a cruise to the Bahamas.
She leaves to cherish her memory, husband, Cliff Doran; and eight children, Craig (Susan) Doran, Cindy (Jeff) Jones, Clint (Linda) Doran, Carson Doran, Carla Doran, Jay (Megan) Doran, Jill (Chris) Randall, Jennifer (Greg) Ciokajlo; eight grandchildren, Amie Doran Wilson, Matthew Doran, Amber Doran, Amanda (Steve) Newby, Nicklaus Doran, Reece Randall, Tate Randall and Claire Doran; four great-grandchildren, Chase Wilson, Carter Newby, Calvin Wilson and Kiele Thompson.
Joanne is preceded in death by her parents, and siblings George Harper and Jackie Harper Steffen.
The family would like to thank the doctors and entire staff in the oncology department at the University of Iowa for the excellent care she received. Additionally, the family appreciates the nurses, CNAs and volunteers at Trinity Pathway Hospice for helping to make her final months comfortable, peaceful and dignified.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.wheelanfuneralhome.com.