JoAnn Darlene Houf of Portland Oregon died on June 29th, 2018 peacefully surrounded by her Family at the age of 87. JoAnn was born August 15, 1930 in Fargo, North Dakota. She was the oldest of two siblings. She moved with her parents Victor and Jessie Alfson and sister, Jackie to Moorhead, Minnesota where she graduated from Moorhead High School in 1948. JoAnn moved out with her family to Portland after graduation to attend college where she became the first Homecoming Queen for Lewis & Clark College. At Lewis & Clark, she met the love of her life and future husband Jim Houf Jr. JoAnn and Jim were married in 1953 and moved to the Eastmoreland neighborhood in the mid 50’s where they raised their three children. JoAnn was widowed in 1989 when she lost her husband and best friend Jim.
JoAnn was an artist. She painted and carved and taught lessons in her paint studio for over 35 years. She loved gardening and was active in the Eastmoreland Garden Club. She attended Church and Bible study fellowship regularly and kept in touch with her Alpha Gamma sorority sisters at Lewis & Clark known as the “Birds”. She was a part of the Eastmoreland Gourmet Club, Eastmoreland Dance Club, played bunco with her friends regularly, and opened her home for the Duniway Elementary Tour of Homes. She was active in the Albany Society Alumni Association of Lewis & Clark College and volunteered at The Perry Center and Albertina Kerr.
JoAnn also traveled the world not only with Jim, but after he passed away. She travelled to over 47 countries around the world. She was a huge dog lover and loved her Cabin in Brightwood. As she grew older in life, she affectionately became known as Gramma JoAnn. She loved to play the piano and accordion for her grandchildren.
If you knew JoAnn Houf, you were blessed. Her laughter, kindness and an ability to be loving and kind to everyone she met was a gift to us all. JoAnn was a Christian and loved Jesus. She was looking forward to the day of being reunited with Jim in Heaven.
JoAnn is survived by her three children, Gregory Houf, Vikki Melrose and Dan Houf; her daughter-in-law, Kathy Houf; son-in-law, Bill Melrose; along with eight grandchildren, Garrett, Jimmy, Kaylee, Brianna, Danielle, Geoffrey, Daniel and Ashton; two great-grandchildren, Addison and Georgia; sister, Jackie Hennessy; brother-in-law, Dick Hennessy; sister-in-law, Jeanette Houf Moscaret; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations in JoAnn’s name may be sent to:
Portland Rescue Mission
PO Box 3713, Portland OR 97208-3713