February 15, 1941 - July 19, 2017
JoAnne, daughter of Lester McConnell and Lucille Van Matre McConnell was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon on February 15, 1941. Her early years were spent in Bend, Oregon and at ten years old she moved to Albany, Oregon. She graduated from Albany Union High School where she was very involved in school activities, especially rally. She married Skip Saunders and they raised three children. They divorced and while continuing to care for her children, JoAnne served as the executive director of the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce. Later, JoAnne served as the executive director for the Salem Downtown Association. Her success in this position was evident in her lifelong connections made in the community.
In 1996 JoAnne met Dennis Gilman and they were married on August 11th that same year. She worked at Key Title Company as a marketing representative until her retirement in 1999. As a member of Illahe Hills Country Club she enjoyed playing golf and helping with social activities. She joined The Assistance League of Salem and assisted with many programs. Additionally, JoAnne and Dennis volunteered with Meals on Wheels for several years. Favorite memories were made traveling throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, The British Isles, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.
JoAnne is survived by her husband Dennis Gilman, her two sons Tyler Saunders and his wife Karen Lee, Todd Saunders and his wife Karen Jo, daughter Tiffany Hunt , sister Sharron Seideman and her husband Richard, and sister- in-law Helen (Donald) McConnell. She was loved by her husband's four children, Kirk Gilman, Kelly La, Sara Mendez, and Susan Gilman-Yamada. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Donald McConnell, and her sister Patti Allen, She also had six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A long battle with Alzheimer's and cancer never dimmed her wonderful spirit. JoAnne could light up a room, making people laugh with her amazing sense of humor and vivacious personality. She will be remembered and loved by her family and friends.
JoAnne's funeral will be held at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Home, 605 Commercial Street SE, Salem, OR 97301 on Sunday July 30, 2017 at 1:OOpm.
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