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Life Story / Obituary
Joanne Margaret Connors, 73, of Holland, Michigan passed away peacefully on January 17, 2022 at her home.
Joanne was born in Highland Park (Detroit), Michigan to George and Anne Gojkov on August 31, 1948. She held various administrative roles in such fields as healthcare (Hawthorn and Northville Hospitals), higher education (Davenport University and Hope College), and in her semi-retirement years she worked in retail (Younkers and Burlington). She enjoyed giving of her time, particularly to Meals on Wheels, and to the many people and animals she loved.
She once said that she didn’t feel she did anything important with her life, but the impact she made on others was immeasurable. To meet Joanne was to remember her and to know her was to love her. She made friends wherever she went and touched countless lives with her great love, acceptance, warmth, kindness, care, generosity, wisdom, and undeniable sense of humor. Someone once told her she had a “unique vision of life.” She wasn’t sure if it was intended as a compliment or an insult, but it’s safe to say she brought much joy and laughter to this world and we are all better for it. After her beloved husband Jim’s heartbreaking illness and death in 2003, she could have grown bitter. Instead, she drew near to God and grew to deeply love and trust Him. She had such confidence in Him that she often announced that when she died, she would be going to Heaven in a rocketship and would like to be known as Saint Joanne of Greenly (Street). She wanted to be remembered for being amazing at coloring and doodling and for making the world’s best oatmeal. She was a one-of-a-kind treasure of a woman whose time here felt far too short. She is incredibly loved and will be unbelievably missed.
Joanne is survived by her niece and Goddaughter, Elizabeth Bertacchi, and nephews Benjamin Bertacchi, Stephen Gojkov, and Alexander Gojkov; sister-in-law, Beth Gojkov; brother-in-law, Mark Bertacchi (Mary Pat); many cousins and adopted nieces and nephews, even more friends, and her five beloved cats.
She is preceded in death by her husband, James “Jim” Connors; parents, George and Anne Gojkov; sister, Marilyn Bertacchi; brother, Andrew Gojkov, and many cats and dogs.
A funeral service will take place on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 11:00 am with a 1-hour visitation prior at Dykstra Funeral Home - Northwood Chapel (295 Douglas Ave. Holland).