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April 15, 1947 - October 6, 2004

Joanne Sittig - 1964

Joanne Sittig Swanson - recent

On Wednesday, October 6th, Joanne died at her home in the woods. Born on April 15, 1947 in Richland, WA, Joanne grew up in a loving family with her parents Howard and Rosemary and her two sisters Kay and Susan in the family home overlooking the Columbia River.

Joanne married Richard Swanson ('64) in April of 1971. They moved to the Olympia area in 1972 where their son Scott was born. Richard and Scott were her two greatest loves. From the time Joanne set foot on Olympia soil, she made friends quickly. Everyone who met her believed that they were her best friend—and in Joanne’s eyes, they were! Her quick wit, her laughter and her creativity along with her passionate love for children will always mark our memories of her. Joanne loved music, knitting, funny movies, game playing, late nights and everything about Italy. And we all loved Joanne.

Joanne had several different jobs in her life but mostly, she will be remembered as “Teacher”. Joanne founded Sacred Heart Preschool in Lacey and nurtured hundreds of young children who will never forget her presence in their lives. With unconditional love, a sense of wonder and incredible joy, Joanne filled children’s hearts with hope and love.

Joanne was preceded in death by her parents Howard and Rosemary Sittig, and is survived by her devoted husband Richard and her adored son Scott. Her spirit will forever remain in the hearts of her sisters, Kay Sittig Wolf ('63) (Gary) and Susan Sittig-Bean ('71) (Rob), her other “sisters”, Leslie Swanson Holeman ('59) (Ron ('56)) and Darlene Swanson Merrill ('70) (Dave ('70)), her “adopted” Italian son Giovanni Bennati and the Bennati family, and numerous nieces, nephews, godchildren, and all the children she taught in preschool. Her special friends Diane Koval, Maddy de Give, Patty Koval and their husbands and children will miss her terribly.

Special Thanks to Teresa, Paul, Cindy, Diana, Dan, Aimie, Neddie and all of her care givers for their care and compassion.

A memorial mass celebrating her life will be held at Sacred Heart Church at 812 Bowker Street in Lacey, WA on Wednesday, October 13th at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to a scholarship fund for children attending the preschool at Sacred Heart Church.