On April 12, 2020, a beautiful Easter afternoon, we lost our mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and wife. JoAnne Hanks Lewis Hansen, called “Jo” by most and “Jomama” and “Grandma Joey” by a select few, passed away suddenly in her Sweetie’s arms.
Jo was the third of four children, born on May 15, 1934 in Salem, Utah, in the same house she was raised in, to Charles Lynn Hanks and Lucy Mae Peterson Hanks. In Salem, she learned to ice skate and swim at the Salem Pond, bought candy with pennies from her grandpa, and was deemed the fastest student, male or female, in her entire 7th grade class—a fact of which we were often reminded. Jo was instilled with a fighting spirit and no-nonsense attitude that endeared her to others. After moving to Springville and graduating from high school as Student Body Secretary, her feisty personality caught the attention of a tall red-haired athlete from Provo, David DaRel Lewis. On June 10, 1955, Jo and Dave were married in the Manti Temple. They were blessed with four children—David (Peggy) Lewis, Cindy (Tom) Costello, Bryan (Becky) Lewis, and Michael (Lizabeth) Lewis. Tragically, Jo was widowed at 37, losing her first love to a battle with cancer and leaving her a single mother.
On May 18, 1976, Jo was lucky enough to marry her Sweetie, a widower himself, Farr Whitney Hansen. Together, they combined their families, adding Farr’s four children—Vickie (Randy) Osborne, David (Heidi) Hansen, Cindy Blair, and Brad (Julie) Hansen—to her own. Although blending the families together was an initial struggle, a great love for one another was fostered, along with a love for sports and family gatherings. There were many traditions which grew to include grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Jo will be remembered foremost as a loving wife, mother, sister, and grandmother. She had an unshakeable testimony of the Savior, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and loved her pioneer heritage. At the age of 50, she and her daughter started Whitney Daniels Designs, a screen printing business that is still in operation today. She had many passions including her jaw-dropping flower garden, love of her many pets, cooking, interior decorating, music, golf, BYU, the Utah Jazz, puzzles, and of course, her incredible homemade bread.
Jo’s unwavering principles, devotion to sticking up for the little guy, her giving heart, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She is preceded in death by her parents, her older sister, Jean Moore, and her brother, Keith Hanks. She is survived by her husband, Farr, beloved baby sister, Kay, her four children, four step-children, their spouses, 26 grandchildren, and 40 great grandchildren—with four more on the way.
As a family, we would like to thank the many nurses and aides who provided such good care for our cute little Mom.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, her memorial was a private family viewing at the Cannon Mortuary on April 18, 2020. A graveside service was held the same day at Provo City Cemetery. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Though our hearts are broken, we look forward to the day we see her again.