Joan Mae Woods
The world was graced with the presence of Joan Mae Woods on March 11, 1940, in Milford, Nebraska. Her parents Hugh L Hopkins and Ora Mae Majors where blessed with identical twins, Joan and Joyce. The twins grew up in Rawlins Wyoming where they were inseparable throughout their childhood. Joan graduated from Rawlins High School in 1958.
Joan often reminisced about her happy childhood telling stories about the twins getting dressed up on Saturday afternoons and going to the train station to meet their father who worked at Union Pacific train depot. He would always buy them ice cream or candy that they would savor for hours while watching all the travelers.
Later in life in 1960 Joan moved to the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado, where she planted her roots. She obtained employment with St. Joseph’s hospital where she exercised her natural abilities of spreading compassionate and kindness to those less fortunate.
Joan met and married Asie Simien. They soon after added to their family two precious sons, Hugh Simien and Michael Simien. Joan and Asie always opened their doors to those in the family who wanted to visit and/or move to Colorado and before they knew it, they had a mass of family members living here. This turned into a continuous reunion with Friday night parties at their house, which always including music, fried fish, gumbo, cards and dominos. The family remembers watching her and her husband dance and how she was so graceful! Later, this marriage was dissolved. Joan went on to marry Leo Woods and they spent many wondeful years together.
Joan loved to travel back to Rawlins to attend her annual high school class reunions. She loved seeing all her classmates reminiscing on old times and filling them in on her family in Denver.
Joan enjoyed dressing up and going to the Elks Balls, she always looked like a princess with her hair done special for the occasion. She would often wear tiaras draping with diamonds, matching necklaces, and earrings, and of course, you know they were real!
Joan enjoyed laughter, music, shopping and reading the daily obituaries. In her later year’s she would put on her Walkman earphones and go to bed listening to old school R&B, blues or zydeco.
Jessie, Joan’s niece always tells a story of Joan going to the beauty shop with her hair in ponytails and walking out a couple hours later looking like George Washington, she said they laughed until they cried.
Joan will be remembered by her family as a wonderful mother; grandmother; aunt and friend and how her kind and loving spirit would always greet you with a smile. Joan would always laugh even with a dementia diagnosis. She was always smiling and laughing. Everyone who knew Joan loved her.
Joan is preceded in death by her loving husband Leo Woods, her parents, Hugh Hopkins and Ora Mae Majors, and her twin sister Joyce Wilford.
Joan received her wings on November 5, at 8:30am at Briarwood Nursing home. Those left to cherish her memory and to live out her legacy are her loving sons, Hugh and Michael Simien., a host of grand-children, nephew and nieces, extended family and many friends.