Joanne Joyce Hagen was born March 29, 1931, to Oscar and Dora Hagen (Germanson) of Clintonville, Wisconsin. She was named Katherine Marie Hagen after her two grandmothers. Her sister, Jeanne, who was eight years old at the time, did not like the name. So, unbeknownst to their mother, Jeanne called the attending physician, Dr. Murphy, and had the name changed to Joanne Joyce. What a surprise when the Hagens received the birth certificate in the mail! It was said that Joanne could sing before she could talk, and sing she did. When Joanne was 12 years old, she became the organist at the Methodist Church in Clintonville. Prior to that time, she sang at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, for the Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour. Following that performance, she was invited back to sing at the Chicago Civic Opera House for a Soldiers’ Benefit Show. After high school graduation in 1948, Joanne headed for the “big city” of Milwaukee and sang every Sunday for a year on TV Varieties, WTMJ-TV. Then on to Washington D.C., where she was employed by the government at the Pentagon. Her adventures then took her to New York City, where she continued her voice studies while working at CalTex Oil Company on Fifth Avenue. Her dad told her that a rolling stone gathers no moss, but that didn’t stop Joanne. She moved to beautiful Connecticut, where she sang with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. While in Connecticut, she also worked for Pratt & Whitney and United Aircraft. After a brief return to Clintonville, Joanne moved to sunny California, where she met and married Bruce Robinson, on January 2, 1976, at the Little Glass Church in Westchester, California. After living at the beach when it was still “young”, and before the influx of people flowed in faster than the waves from the ocean, Joanne and Bruce retired from Howard Hughes’ Aircraft Company in 1986, and moved to a beautiful ranch in Hart Flat, Keene, California. What a wonderful experience with people who also appreciated the beauty and the kind of simple living it offered, and, of course, horses, goats, mules, cats, doggies, etc. It was a life and a place that was exceptional and incomparable. After eleven years at the ranch, they realized they would soon have to give in to the fact that a smaller place was in order. So, in their RV travels, they found Quartzsite, Arizona. They sold the ranch and made Quartzsite their home. Prior to leaving the ranch, Joanne was able, after much advertising and searching, to find and meet her German relatives in Schleswig, New Holstein, Germany and in Canada. This was truly an event.
Bruce preceded her in death on May 16, 2005. Joanne was also preceded in death by her parents, sister Jeanne, and brother-in-law, Warren Snider. Joanne is survived by a niece, Mary Bratton, of Los Angeles, California; nephews, John Snider of Waupaca, Wisconsin, and Tom Snider of Winneconne, Wisconsin, as well as grandnieces, grandnephews and many cousins in the United States, Canada and Germany. In addition to her physical travels, Joanne traveled spiritually throughout her life. She was raised as a United Methodist, re-baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1997, and spent her last few years happily building a personal relationship with her Lord. She lived as He would have her live – always caring – always sharing – always loving, and deeply loved by many.
In her own words, “oh, the memories, the happy ones and even the sad ones; how I look forward to the day when things will be even more wonderful because, as we learned and sang when we were children, the Bible tells us so.”
Joanne has requested that after she leaves this world, when you remember her, don’t put any flowers on her grave. Just give some food and water to a stray animal and treat it with tenderness and love. Also, in lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to an animal charity/shelter of your own choosing.