Joan Atwood

89, loved the opportunity to be around children

Joan Elaine Atwood of Cañon City, passed away on April 13 following a recent cancer diagnosis.

Elaine was born Dec. 12, 1931 in Lamar to the late Malcolm and Viola (Blecha) Largent.

She was raised in Lamar and married James (Jim) L. Atwood on Aug. 17, 1949, in Clayton, N.M. They were married for 60 years until Jim passed away in December 2009.

They had three children while living in Lamar, Judy, Jan, and Jim. In 1956, they moved from Lamar to Salida, Buena Vista, Climax and then Leadville while Jim worked at the Climax Moybdenum Mine. They had their fourth child Jon in Climax, and their fifth child Jean in Leadville.

In 1974, they moved to Lakewood, when Jim began working for MSHA. Here, Elaine began working for the Jefferson County Public Schools as a cook; preparing, delivering and serving food to school cafeterias.

She loved the opportunity to be around children, and her schedule allowed her to work outside the home while her youngest ones were in school. She later worked in daycare, spending time with toddlers and coaching younger children to read.

In 1993, after they both retired, Jim and Elaine moved to Cañon City where they lived out the remainder of their lives.

Wherever she lived, Elaine created a happy and healthy home filled with love and joy, while always hosting extended family and friends. She took great pride in keeping an immaculate and organized home.

She loved to feed the entire family as often as they could get together. She spent much of her life preparing food for these get togethers.

She was thrifty, and enjoyed shopping regularly at garage sales and thrift stores. She loved to read, clean, bake and organize. She always decorated her home for the seasons, especially for the benefit of the younger kids and grandkids.

For 49 years, she hosted Christmas and Easter for her ever-growing family. She also hosted monthly celebrations for whoever had a birthday each month. Every celebration was full of love, laughter and lots of great food.

After the passing of her husband Jim in 2009, she stayed in their home so she could keep it open to the family and continue these traditions.

Her family always felt at home when they visited and she continued to welcome friends and extended family. She was always happy and taught her children to be independent, respectful and kind.

She taught her children to always show love and respect for each other, and to focus on enjoying each other’s company when they were together. Her love for her family was apparent, and spending time with her family was her greatest joy in life.

She loved the Lord and gave her family the gift of her testimony, to acknowledge and accept His enduring love for them. She attended Calvary Baptist Church in Cañon City. She considered them her second family. She was there when the doors were open, and hosted prayer and Bible study groups in her home.

She regularly visited friends who were in hospitals, care centers or in their own homes. She was loved by so many for her positive outlook and giving spirit. Her faithfulness to the Lord was at the heart of everything she did.

She is survived by her five children, Judy (Ron) Dobson of Salida; Jan (Danny) Bond of Wheatridge; Jim (Sheryl) Atwood of Buena Vista; Jon (Lynda) Atwood of Cañon City and Jean (James) Holzfaster of Englewood; 13 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; siblings Charles (Barb) Largent of Greeley and Linda DeWolf of Littleton.

She was preceded in death by her siblings Donna Marie Wibright, Richard Largent, and Lowell Largent.

Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 22 at Wilson Funeral Home Chapel, 1449 S. 9th St. in Cañon City. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 1415 Elm Ave, Canon City, CO 81212.