Joanne Mclean, of Augusta, passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family on Jan. 31.
A funeral service was held on Feb. 11 at the St. Mathias Catholic Church in Augusta followed by a memorial luncheon. Internment will be held in the Spring in Augusta.
Born in Great Falls on May 12, 1933 she was raised by her parents Kenny and Faith Mclean along with two brothers and two sisters on the Sunny Slope west of Fairfield where she attended school until 1948.Prior to graduating in 1951 her family moved to the Sawtooth Hereford Ranch northwest of Augusta.Growing up, she was very involved with ranch duties as well as being active in many school activities, including being an integral member of the Girl’s State Championship Basketball team in Augusta.
Joanne helped start the first Montana High School Rodeo and was the second ever Montana High School Rodeo Queen.She competed in the National High School Rodeo in Sulphur, La., and was widely regarded as one of the top barrel racers in the State of Montana for years.As a charter member of the Montana Cowgirl Association, she also rode with the Drill Team.
In 1955, Joanne married Neal Jerome and had three sons.During their marriage they lived in Augusta and ran the Western Bar before moving to Great Falls and managing the Cowboys Bar.The couple also owned and trained thoroughbred racehorses, which, along with rodeo, remained a lifelong passion.The two later divorced in 1978.She later worked at Opportunities Inc. for 35 years in numerous administrative roles before retiring in 2002.After retirement she split her time between Augusta and her property outside of Lincoln.
Later in life, some of her many interests included horseback riding, hiking, searching for Indian arrowheads and snowshoeing, but most of all she loved hosting friends and family at her cabin at the foot of Roger’s Pass.
Joanne is survived by brothers Kenneth Mclean of Sumner, Wash., and Stephen Mclean of Anacortes, Wash.; sisters MaryFaith Hoeffner of Lincoln and Nancy Klick of Augusta; step-brother Martin Larson of Fairfield; step-sister Mali Hensley of Fairfield; three sons Zane (Linda) Jerome of Great Falls, Marty Jerome of Kalispell and Jerry (Ronda) Jerome of Conrad; grandchildren Adam (Laura), Summer, Julie, Astrid, Nathan, Jeff, Shiloh and Mirrun; and great-grandchildren Aiden, Paris, Leif, Daphne and Braelie Joanne.
She was preceded in death by her parents Kenneth Mclean and Faith Mills Mclean, and her husband Neal Jerome.
Memorials are suggested to the St. Mathias Catholic Church or the Senior Center in Augusta.