JoAnn Leora Sunell obituary photo
 
In Memory of

JoAnn Leora Sunell

December 25, 1933 - March 27, 2015

Obituary


JoAnn Sunell was born in Astoria, Oregon on December 25, 1933. JoAnn passed away March 27, 2015. She was the only child of the late Hortense and Eric Toikka, and beloved granddaughter of Mildred Jane Stacy, all of Astoria, Oregon. JoAnn is survived by her husband of 63 years, Major General Robert J. Sunell, US Army Retired, and their three children: Perry Jo Peterson and her husband, Art Peterson, living in Minnesota; Patti Lee Johnson and her husband, David Johnson, living in California; and Robert Philip Sunell, living in Oregon.
JoAnn's grandchildren, who affectionately called...

JoAnn Sunell was born in Astoria, Oregon on December 25, 1933. JoAnn passed away March 27, 2015. She was the only child of the late Hortense and Eric Toikka, and beloved granddaughter of Mildred Jane Stacy, all of Astoria, Oregon. JoAnn is survived by her husband of 63 years, Major General Robert J. Sunell, US Army Retired, and their three children: Perry Jo Peterson and her husband, Art Peterson, living in Minnesota; Patti Lee Johnson and her husband, David Johnson, living in California; and Robert Philip Sunell, living in Oregon.
JoAnn's grandchildren, who affectionately called her "JoJo", include Molly Jane Peterson, Andrea Dana Peterson, Jake Sunell Sigl, and Stacy Sunell. Additionally, JoAnn is survived by her many friends and the military community, where she relished her role as leader and supporter of others, wherever she might be stationed.
JoAnn's life can be summed up as one of love, service, and commitment. Her love was constantly demonstrated in her devotion to her husband, children, and grandchildren, as well as to her countless friends. She also loved animals, to include wild birds and her beloved dogs and cats. Charismatic, funny, and interesting, she had an active and engaging intelligence, which naturally drew people to her.
An English major in college, JoAnn used her knowledge in proofreading her husband's many papers during their life together, and in supporting her many activities. She was a prolific reader and a valued member of many book clubs, as well as a competitive bridge player. Always creatively engaged, JoAnn was artistic and entrepreneurial. At Ft. Knox, Kentucky, she developed a weekly radio program, interviewing foreign students and dignitaries, in addition to managing a bookstore.
As a gifted crafter, JoAnn designed needlepoint patterns for the Armor Branch Insignias of active Armor Units, and created folk art that individuals collected and displayed. One or more of her creations were frequently entered into craft shows, and her initials, JLS (and the date of completion) can be found on her works of art all across America. JoAnn spoke German and led the German American Club while stationed in Fulda, Germany.
JoAnn was resilient and resourceful. She endured her husband's three tours of duty in combat zones while keeping her young family together, as well as 32 moves here and abroad. She and her husband finally settled in Queens Lake, Virginia, where JoAnn became a Board Member of the Queens Lake Association, and President of the Queens Lake Garden Club. The final move was to Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, Virginia.
After her husband retired from the Army, JoAnn helped him form a consulting company, "Suonperra, Inc." for which she was the business manager for 12 years, excelling in this role, as she had in all the other roles in her life.
JoAnn Sunell was a devoted wife, loving mother, adored grandmother, loyal friend, successful entrepreneur, all accomplished with a great sense of humor and resiliency. JoAnn is greatly loved and will be missed.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM at Patriots Colony, Williamsburg, Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Heritage Humane Society, Williamsburg, VA or the Blackhorse Associates Scholarship Fund, Treasurer BH Association, PO Box 1712, Mill Valley, CA. 94942.