Joane Marie (Peterson) Martell, 94, of Baker City, died May 24, 2021.
Joane was born at the family homestead, located near the towns of Nibbe and Pompeys Pillar, Montana on March 27, 1927, a daughter of Carl and Orpha (Miller) Peterson. She grew up on the family farm during the Great Depression. As a young woman, she did hotel work and briefly lived in Billings, Montana, Seattle, Washington and Anchorage, Alaska before returning home and marrying Fred Martell, who was leasing a neighboring farm, in 1952. She was a farm wife for seven years, then they moved to Billings, Montana, where Fred got a job with Great Western Sugar Company. They raised five children in Billings, and when not taking care of small children, she did housekeeping and janitorial work. She continued with the janitor business in Battle Mountain, Nevada, and later lived in Burns, Oregon before moving to Baker City in 2002. She spent most of her years in Baker City living at Elkhorn Village, then Settler’s Park for the last six years.
She was a very skillful gardener, and her container gardening at Elkhorn Village produced impressive crops. She grew awesome strawberries in her final year there. Joane had a sharp mind and was a life-long learner. She was always well-informed about world news, history, politics, and humane treatment of animals. When she observed suffering and cruelty, whether, with people or animals, she did what she could to stop it. The Vietnam War was a major event in her life because she cared about other people and the tragedy they were suffering.
Survivors include a daughter, Shelley Thurmond of Huntley, Montana, two sons, Craig Martell of Baker City and Chad Martell of West Linn, Oregon, two grandsons, Carl and Benny Martell of Baker City, one granddaughter, Adelene Martel of Hugo, Oklahoma, and two great-grandsons in Oklahoma. She is also survived by her dear niece Monica Holliday of Billings, Montana, who was with her in her final days.
She was preceded in death by her sisters Selma and Arliss, brothers Dale and Carl, husband Fred, and sons, Lance and Clark.
At her request, there will be no funeral services. Memorial contributions may be made to Oregon Public Broadcasting through Coles Tribute Center 1950 Place St. Baker City, OR 97814.