Serving Whitman County since 1877

Joanne Terry Gfeller

Sept. 4, 1939 - Aug. 12, 2023

Joanne Terry Curtis was born in Colfax, Wash., at St. Ignatius Hospital on September 4, 1939, to Albert Lynn and Margaret Geraldine Feenan Curtis. She was the second of six children. Joanne grew up on her family's farm between St. John and Steptoe, Wash., near what is now Eccles Grange Hall. She attended St. John Schools, graduating as salutatorian of her High School class in 1957.

Joanne met David Gfeller at a dance at what was then the Wheatland Grange. David was soon drafted during the Korean War but they got back together the minute he came home, marrying in the Malden Catholic Church November 3, 1957. They made their home on the Gfeller family farm near Steptoe where they raised all five of their children Steve (Jill), Lynn (Lisa), Stan (Lori), Anne Nelson (John) and Jim (Marianne). Joanne had a talent for making things better than she found them. This included all manner of homemaking. She was a Master level gardener, designing and keeping up many lovely gardens over the years. She could sew anything from bridesmaid's dresses to curtains and her decorative touch was always perfect. Joanne was never without a project of some sort and Dave would help too, but there was the occasional phrase "Bull in a China cabinet," that may come with his help. They made a good team though and we were so lucky. David and Joanne were blessed with 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, with number 16 on the way.

Joanne passed away August 12, 2023, at South Hill Village in Spokane, Wash. David passed away in September, 2021. Joanne was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Sharon Provost and Bonnie Herman. She is survived by her brothers Albert Curtis, St. John, Wash., Norman (Butch) Curtis, Basin City, Wash., and sister Cathy Lynd, McCall, Idaho.

Please join us for a memorial service to be held at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Rosalia on Friday, August 25, at 10 a.m., followed by lunch at the church hall. There will be a private burial at Bethel Cemetery in Steptoe. The family suggests condolences may be sent to the SJE Schools Foundation or the Colfax Schools.

We know we will feel her presence again on the first warm day of spring yard work, in our large family gatherings, and we will try, as she always did to make things better than we found them. What a gift.

Corbeill Funeral Homes of Colfax is caring for the family. On-line condolences may be made at


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