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Joan Arzella Shipley
February 19, 1951 ~ December 3, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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Joan Arzella Shipley was born into this world on Feb. 19, 1951, to Annie and James Rollins. Four years later, they welcomed Joan’s little sister Sue into the world. When Joan was 9 years old, she discovered her first love, playing the violin.
In 1975, while working at Sambos she met the love of her life, Daniel. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they wouldn’t go on their first date until nine months later. After a short courtship they were married and welcomed their first child, Michael. Two years later, they welcomed their second child, Janis.
In 1986, Joan graduated from Eastern Montana College with her degree in education. Joan secured her first teaching job in Hardin, Montana. Joan and Dan packed up the kids and moved to Hardin, where they lived until the death of their son in 1994. After several more moves and house remodels later, Joan and Dan returned to Billings for their retirement. Joan started taking violin lessons again to fill some time. She also became active in the church, joined Canyon Creek String Ensemble, Bellissimo, taught herself to play the piano, and spent plenty of time with her family.
On Dec. 3, 2023, Joan ended her battle against multiple myeloma with her family by her side.
Joan is preceded in death by her father James, son Michael, and numerous cousins and extended family members.
The celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at Grace United Methodist Church, 1935 Avenue B.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Jason Mraz Foundation.