Joan Berntson Pilkington passed away Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 at the Promontory Point Rehabilitation Center in Idaho Falls surrounded by her family.
Joan was born into the loving home of Russell and Clara Berntson on May 17, 1929 in Logan, Utah. The third of four daughters, she grew up in a home surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins and filled with laughter and love. She attended Logan schools, graduating from Logan High School in 1947 and going on to attend Utah State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1951.
When she was only 15 she fell in love with Farrell Pilkington, the boy with the beautiful tenor voice. After thoroughly capturing his heart, and enjoying a fun-filled courtship, they married six years later in 1949, just months before Farrell left on his LDS mission. She was to join and serve a mission with him during his final six months but a change in church policy cancelled her call and she was forced to learn patience while she waited at home.
However, not to be denied missionary service, in her later years, Joan joined with Farrell to serve LDS missions in the New York, New York South Mission; Dublin, Ireland Mission; Arizona Tucson Mission; and the St. George Utah Family History Mission.
Upon Farrell’s return from his mission, Joan joined Farrell in his military service as they lived in Utah, Colorado, California, and Japan. Along the way they welcomed five children into their lives. Following Farrell’s release, they reared their family in Logan, Utah; Tremonton, Utah; Blackfoot; and Idaho Falls, where she also worked in the local school districts.
While a wife and mother, Joan was also a dedicated and creative teacher. She taught thousands of children over 27 years in elementary schools in Logan, Utah; Tokyo, Japan; Tremonton, Utah; Blackfoot; and Idaho Falls. She also had a private kindergarten in their home in Blackfoot for several years.
At the center of Joan’s life was her faith in Jesus Christ and her love for her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was a faithful and devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over her life she served in the Young Women’s organization, the Primary organization, and the Relief Society in various leadership and teaching roles as well as directing choirs and music. Joan loved singing and music and found joy in reading, camping, golf, and as a youth loved riding horses.
Joan will be remembered by many for the love she has shown and the lives she has touched. To her husband she will be remembered forever as his childhood sweetheart whom he loved from first sight and every sight since, and whose refined nature, patience, and unconditional love helped him become the husband worthy of her. To her children she will be remembered as a mother who was slow to anger and quick to forgive, as a mother who was a wonderful cook and always had a clean and organized home decorated with love. And to her grandchildren, she will be remembered as always being there and celebrating with them the milestones in their lives. To her great-grandchildren she will be remembered for her warm hugs and gentle kisses.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Russell E. Berntson and Clara Johnson Berntson.
She is survived by her loving husband, W. Farrell Pilkington, sisters Mary (Dean) Rogers, Roma (Farel) Tibbitts, and Nancy (Sherm) Boyce; children, David Pilkington, Sue (Joesph) Velasquez, Nancy (Douglas) Dance, Paul (Darby) Pilkington, and Ann (Lyndon) Oswald; grandchildren, Jeremy (Molly), Jake, Cassie, Seth (Jamie), Zack (Nikky), Hilary, Hailey, Erin (Todd), Jamison (Elizabeth), Natalie, Coleman (Randi) Sara (Brody), Devon; and great grandchildren, Caleb, Alia, Declan, Easton, Blake, Rylan, Paige.
Services will be conducted at 11 am on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Ammon LDS 23rd Ward at 4459 John Adams Parkway. There will be a viewing on Friday from 7-8 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 Ammon Road, Idaho Falls and Saturday from 10:00-10:45 am at the church.
Burial will be in Ammon Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com .