We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter
your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you
can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Joan "Joannie" Porta Warnshuis
December 26, 2022
9 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Joan "Joannie"'s family - View on Tribute Wall
Read more about the life story of Joan "Joannie" and share your memory.
Calling hours for Joan will be held Friday, January 27, 2023 at the Dewhirst & Boles Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen, MA from 4PM - 7PM
Joannie died peacefully on December 26th surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her twin sister Jean “Jeannie”, the children of Robert Byron Porta of Missouri and Jeanette Davisson of Oklahoma. The “twins”, along with their older brother Byron were raised by their loving grandparents Eula and Russel Davisson. Although they lived many places and travelled extensively, she proudly held to her “Okie” values of thrift and hospitality.
While she knew poverty as a child, she graduated valedictorian of Tulsa High School and attended Stanford University on a full scholarship, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in French History. As a Stanford student, she studied in France where she forged a lifelong friendship with Judy Gregory (Montana), with whom she shared many joyous reunions and travel.
After graduation, she answered the call to serve her country by joining the Peace Corps and it was during the Peace Corps training in Roxbury, Massachusetts where she met her “King of Hearts”, Ed Warnshuis. They served a year together in the newly independent country of Ghana, where they married. Their daughter Jill was born shortly after their return to the states in Southern California. Four years later their second daughter, Jennifer “Jenny” was born.
They moved to the East Coast in 1979, where Joannie pursued the certification to become a technical support engineer under the mentorship of her dear sister, Jeannie. The family settled in North Andover, Massachusetts in 1984, where they welcomed visitors near and far, hosting gatherings for friends and family, including the favorite Christmas Caroling parties.
Joannie retired twenty years ago and never looked back! She fully enjoyed her many hobbies and travels. She loved to quilt and hike and sail and hammer on rooftops for Habitat for Humanity. She hosted tiny tea parties with her granddaughter Meghan, was a loyal fan to her granddaughter Leah’s drama performances , her grandson Matthew’s never-ending athletic games, and nurtured her granddaughter Cassie’s creative spark.
She survived two separate bouts of cancer, neck cancer in 1978, then breast cancer in 1994. When she learned of the most recent diagnosis of throat cancer on October 28th, she decided not to endure the road of surgery and chemo treatments. Joannie died with grace and even joy on her terms, communicating with family and friends to the end, writing her final note to her dear husband: “Say goodbye with shalom”.
Joannie is survived by her “King of Hearts”, Ed; her daughters, Jill Chow and Jennifer Meagher; her grandchildren, Leah Jerritt, Cassie Chow, Meghan and Matthew Meagher.
Her legacy of love and joy lives on in the memories of family and friends. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
Family and friends are invited to visiting hours on Friday January 27, 2023 from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Dewhirst Boles Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen. For the protection of other visitors, we ask that you kindly wear a mask.