Joan Kimber Tanner

Joan Kimber was born at the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital at 2400 South Harrison Boulevard, Ogden, Weber County, Utah, on Friday, August 10, 1934.  When the McKay-Dee Hospital was built, the old hospital was torn down.  Her first name was frequently mispronounced, so she changed the spelling to JoAnn.

JoAnn’s father, Joseph Edwin (Ted) Kimber was born on November 9, 1903, in Grouse Creek, Box Elder County, Utah.  He worked as a rancher.  He died of a heart attack on July 11, 1972.  Her mother, Martha Amanda Hart Kimber was born June 18, 1903, in Ogden, Weber County, Utah. She was a school teacher.  She passed away on July 27, 1969, after a battle with breast cancer.  JoAnn has an older brother, Lee Hart Kimber, born May 10, 1933,  and younger siblings, Norman D Kimber, born November 26, 1937, died November 30, 1984, Carolyn Kimber, born May 13, 1940, died December 18, 1971, and Keith Edwin Kimber, born November 24, 1951.

Her first home was in Naf, Idaho.  At three years of age her family moved and her address became Grouse Creek, Utah–not even a zip code.  There were very few automobiles there and most travel was done on foot.

JoAnn attended Primary as a child.  She was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on August 20, 1942.  She was sealed to her parents on June 21, 1946, in the Salt Lake Temple. JoAnn had many aunts and uncles since her father was one of 21 children.  She had a close relationship with her Aunt Chloe, Aunt Fern and Aunt Elsie, all of whom lived in Brigham City.

Her youth was filled with things common to living on a ranch, including playing in the snow.  She especially liked her dolls and staying indoors helping her mom while her brothers helped outside.

For many years things weren’t good economically on the ranch as the rain was scarce and the fields barren.  Money was hard to come by, but the family never went hungry because they had cows, chickens, pigs and a garden.  JoAnn’s mother was an excellent seamstress making the children’s clothes. Some years on the ranch were good with JoAnn’s dad building up the cattle herd and buying lots of cattle range.

When JoAnn was six she got pneumonia and was very sick. Because Grouse Creek is a rural town, the nearest doctor was a government doctor at Lucin who finally came after Grandmother Kimber told him it was an emergency. The doctor told them to get JoAnn to the hospital immediately.  While waiting for her dad to arrive, the Elders from the Latter-day Saint church were called to administer a blessing of healing.  After the blessing, JoAnn went into a deep sleep. By the time they got to Brigham City, 100 miles away, her blankets were soaking wet.  JoAnn was a very, very sick girl for several weeks.

JoAnn attended Grouse Creek School through the 10th Grade and then went to Brigham City to live with her Grandmother, Josie Kimber, while attending Box Elder High School.  She graduated in 1952.

JoAnn moved to Logan after graduation and lived in an apartment with Carol Warburton and Norma Tanner.  JoAnn worked at Low Cost Drugstore with Norma.  While living in Logan, they saw almost every movie that came about.  She moved to Brigham City and got a job working at First Security Bank.  JoAnn really enjoyed the annual get-togethers that she had with the friends that she grew up with–Norma Clark, Jean Toyn, Verna Richardson, Colleen Teeter, and Fay Wakefield.  She had lots of fun going over old times and laughing.

JoAnn and Gordon Kay Tanner, born January 24, 1934, were both raised in Grouse Creek, so they knew each other from childhood.  In the small grades, each time the school picture was taken JoAnn and Gordon would be arranged on the front row sitting side by side on the bottom step.  Gordon didn’t know her very well then and found it very irritating.  JoAnn was Gordon’s first girlfriend.  She gave Gordon his first kiss when they were kids.  She was always quiet and kind of shy.  She was attractive and very smart.

For their first real date, JoAnn went to Burley, Idaho on the bus. Gordon met her and took her to a rodeo.  They had a great time.

After high school, Gordon started getting interested in JoAnn, but they seldom saw each other because Gordon worked on a ranch in Nevada and JoAnn was working in Brigham City.

Gordon finally quit the Gamble Ranch and went to work for the Johnson Ranch (Cluster V brand).  His lighter work schedule gave them much more time together.

JoAnn and Gordon just started joking around about getting married and it took off from there. They were married on December 16, 1955, in Elko, Nevada. JoAnn wore a blouse and a black felt skirt.  Gordon wore slacks and a sport coat–at that time he didn’t own a suit. A Justice of the Peace performed the ceremony and two witnesses from the court stood up with them.  They spent that night in Elko.  The next day they went to Wendover, then on to Ogden and spent a few days there with Gordon’s brother, Bill, and Bill’s wife, Mary Kay. Then they went to Grouse Creek for a couple more days and then back to work at the Johnson Ranch, near the Oasis.

Gordon and JoAnn lived at the Johnson Ranch for over two years where Gordon was a cowboy and ranch hand.  The Ranch had been up for sale for quite a while and the ranch and cattle sold separately.  The cattle went sold away and the ranch didn’t for a couple of years so all the other hands left and went job hunting.  JoAnn and Gordon stayed and looked after the place.  It was a pretty soft job with only a few cows and saddle horses.  Gordon said it sure was a long, sweet honeymoon though with only the two of them there. When the ranch finally did sell they were asked to stay.  JoAnn was expecting their first child.  Wells, Nevada, 30 miles away, was the closest city and the road was tough in the winter so they decided to move closer to schools, hospitals, etc.

JoAnn and Gordon are the parents of five children.  All of the children were born in the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, Weber County, Utah.

Cheryl Lynn Tanner was born March 21, 1957.  She married James Anthony (Tony) Ferrara on September 10, 1976.  Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on September 10, 1996.  They have one son, Ryan James Ferrara.

Bruce Kay Tanner was born January 24, 1958.  He married Beverly Arlene Christensen.  They have one son, Jacob Kay Tanner.  They were later divorced.  Bruce married Shelley Page.  They have one son, Shane Phillip Tanner.  They later separated.

Leon Dee Tanner was born January 1, 1959.  Dee married Colleen Aoki on April 12, 1978.  They have two children:  Nicholas Dee Tanner and April Tanner.

Chris Tanner was born August 26, 1964.  Chris married Kristi (Cross) Stokes on September 20, 1985.  They have four children: Kylie Nichole Tanner, Mackenzie Jo Tanner, Jackson Cade Tanner, and Jenna Lynn Tanner.

Shellie Tanner was born October 17, 1966.  Shellie married Richard Thomas Calchera on June 22, 1984.  Their marriage was solemnized in the Los Angeles Temple on June 22, 1985.  They have four children: Shawn Thomas Calchera, Richelle Calchera, Robert Tanner Calchera, and Savanna Calchera.

Gordon and JoAnn moved from the Johnson Ranch to 2340 Eccles Avenue, Ogden, Utah, until after Cheryl was born, and then they moved to a white house at 3225 North 1000 West in Pleasant View, Utah.  Many fun times were had at that home. Eating hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill was a favorite pastime, maybe because money was hard to come by.  JoAnn’s brother, Norm, lived with them for awhile while going through a divorce.  In 1966 they moved to a home on 405 West Elberta Drive in North Ogden.

During the time they lived in Ogden, pizza was just starting up.  Riggo’s Pizza was the only place they knew of in Ogden who made them.  They were so busy you had to call ahead to order and still had to wait a long time.

Gordon worked for Wasatch Oil in Ogden, Utah.  In 1968, he leased a Phillips 66 Service Station in Brigham City, Utah.  The family then moved to 524 East 600 North in Brigham City.  After a few years, Gordon began working as a mover and driver for Allied Van Lines and then Mayflower Moving and Storage.

When the kids were little, they always liked going to Grouse Creek for vacations to see Grandpa and Grandma Kimber and Grandpa Del and Grandma Ella.  JoAnn always hoped that they could have a vacation where they could travel somewhere and see something new.

Gordon bought a pickup camper that he believed they could really use and enjoy as a family.  His job was such that they didn’t have time to use it hardly at all.  It was almost unused but when they finally sold it after five years, they really took a big loss.

JoAnn had various jobs during her married life.  She worked serving tables at the Oasis when they lived in Nevada.  After they moved to Utah, she took in ironing and charged 10 cents a piece to iron.  She watched a girl before school to help a single father in the neighborhood.  After moving to Brigham City, she worked at C&D’s Pizza assembling frozen pizzas to be delivered to grocery stores for sale.  She worked at Measurement Science making latex probes for thermometers.  She worked as a bookkeeper and teller at Box Elder County Bank, which later became First Interstate Bank.  JoAnn took a medical retirement in 1986.

JoAnn served as a Primary teacher while living in Pleasant View, Utah, and was a member of the Primary Presidency of the 14th Ward in Brigham City, Utah.  She also served as Sunday School Secretary, collecting rolls from the classes.  JoAnn once said when talking about attending the midweek Relief Society Meeting that it wasn’t a meeting that she had to decide if she wanted to go, but rather it was a meeting that she would always attend.  Her testimony was strong.  She enjoyed doing family history and genealogy work and attending family reunions.

JoAnn was so good with her hands.  When Cheryl started school, she was the best dressed kid around in the cutest jumpers made out of JoAnn’s old skirts and Gordon’s old pants and suits, a skill JoAnn learned from her mother.  She could create anything and she made many beautiful things.  She loved to crochet and made afghans for the kids and crafts for the grandkids over the years.  She loved making ceramic holiday decorations and gifts for friends and family.  She enjoyed canning, including pickles, jams and jellies, salsa and chili sauce.  She was very smart and caught on to things very easily.  JoAnn was always wanting to learn.  She was happy when she was getting to do something new.  JoAnn could laugh at herself.

A favorite family tradition was making Christmas candy.  When JoAnn’s kids got older, the family would spend a Saturday in December making fudge, caramels, toffee, divinity, sugared nuts, panoche, Rainbow candy and Rice Krispie Treats.  When all the candy was finished, it was put on paper plates and delivered to many friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

JoAnn loved antiques and had several treasures of her own.  She received a rocking chair from an old house in Grouse Creek and took it to the Woodman in Brigham City.  He was able to replace a missing post and put a leather seat in the chair. She really enjoyed that chair.

JoAnn was soft spoken and people enjoyed listening to her.  When she would train a new bookkeeper at the bank, she would talk very softly and make them feel very comfortable.  JoAnn was a peacemaker.  She wanted everyone to be happy and she wanted a close family relationship, not only with her immediate family, but with her brothers and sister.  She was very proud of her grandchildren and loved spending time with them.

JoAnn was a wonderful wife, companion, friend and mother.  She had all the responsibility when Gordon was on the road driving truck and she did an excellent job.

JoAnn and Gordon went on some trips that were special to them. Yellowstone, Hawaii, Alabama, Florida, and California two times–just to mention a few. On their Hawaiian vacation they had a chance to go snorkeling at one of the bays on the island. JoAnn was afraid to put her face in the water for a long time.  Finally, she held hands with Cheryl and put her face in the water and enjoyed seeing all the beautiful fish.

JoAnn and Gordon took the bus from Brigham City to Huntsville, Alabama, where they met Cheryl, Tony and Ryan. Many people told them they would be sorry to take that long of a bus trip.  How very wrong they were.  Gordon had been driving truck quite a while so he wasn’t that excited to travel, but they went many places that he had not been.  They both had so much fun.

JoAnn’s health was not 100%.  She had a heart problem that the doctors did not detect until after all her kids were born.  She had a defective heart valve, believed to be caused by rheumatic fever earlier in life.  She underwent open heart surgery at Thanksgiving time of 1976 to replace her mitral valve with a pig’s valve.  She had Thanksgiving dinner with her family on the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving before she went into the hospital.  Dee quit school to help take care of her while she recovered.  In 1987 she had the worn-out pig’s valve replaced with a mechanical valve.  JoAnn sometimes referred to the years after surgery as her “bonus years”.

JoAnn had dark hair for many years and continued to color her hair after it started to turn gray. She was taking medication for her heart and it was making the color-treated hair fall out.  She said she would rather be gray than bald, so she let her gray grow out at an early age.  Her gray hair was very soft and very beautiful.

She had a hard time seeing and was diagnosed with macular degeneration.  When she told Aunt Elsie about the diagnosis, Aunt Elsie said, “Oh, you have the Kimber eye disease.”  She found out there had been others in the family with similar problems.

She was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis and after several years of dialysis all five of her children were tested for donor compatibility.  They were each an acceptable match.  She had a kidney transplant in November of 1990.  Her oldest child, Cheryl, was the donor.   JoAnn said how blessed she felt to think that all of her children were willing to do that for her, to give up a kidney that she might have life.  JoAnn’s surgery went well, but Cheryl had many complications.  How JoAnn’s heart ached as she sat in the hospital and couldn’t do anything but wait; Cheryl had almost given her life that JoAnn might live.

On February 2, 1991, JoAnn was taken to the Brigham City Community Hospital.  It was believed that she was having a stroke and she was transfered to the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.  For many weeks, she struggled with a hemorrhage in her brain, early stages of kidney rejection, and abdominal bleeding.  Many doctors treated her various conditions.  Family and friends spent hours at her bedside.

At a little after 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 1991, with a hospital room full of her family, JoAnn’s body finally gave out and her fight for life was over.  A viewing was held at the Peterson Mortuary in Brigham City and the funeral was held in the Grouse Creek Ward Chapel.  She was buried in the Grouse Creek cemetery on March 12, 1991.

JoAnn’s initiatory and endowment work was completed for her on September 10, 1996.  She was sealed to Gordon Kay Tanner and two of her children in the Ogden Utah Temple on April 5, 2000.  Her sister-in-law, Carole Taylor, served as her proxy.

History submitted by Chery Tanner Ferrara