Joan Marie Kuiper, formerly of Ionia, Zeeland, and Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Davis and Foresthill, California; passed away peacefully at her home in Auburn, California on Sunday, November 22, 2020.

Beloved daughter of Herman and Marie Kuiper; loving sister of James; dear aunt of Cinda (Randolph) Hsi, James (Lisa), Linda, Alan, and Kevin (Rachael); and esteemed grand aunt of James, David, Brian, Jason, Lisa, Daniel, Jacob, Elinore, Joshua, Amy, Christina, Tyler, and Alana.

She was born on May 22, 1936 in Ionia, Michigan. Living on a family farm near Ionia for most of her childhood gave her a love of animals, gardening, and self-reliance. There she attended a one-room school. During her teens her family moved first to Holland, then Zeeland, Michigan where they ran a grocery store. Joan excelled as a student and graduated as salutatorian of the Zeeland High School class of 1954. After two years at Hope College she transferred to the University of Michigan and her family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. She completed a Medical Technology degree in 1958.

Her career as a Medical Technologist spanned over 40 years, first at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, then Parke Davis in Detroit and Ann Arbor. Two family trips to California in the 1950s had given her a strong desire to live there. In 1964 she began working at the University of California at Davis. She passed the California Medical Technologist exam in 1967 and transferred to Davis Clinical Laboratory. After 14 years there, she achieved her dream of living in the mountains. She purchased property in Foresthill, California and began working at Sierra Laboratories in Auburn, until her retirement in 1998. During that time she survived a bout with cancer in 1987.

Mountain living was a joy to her and she had many interests, including gardening, beekeeping, canning, raising angora rabbits, making her own yarn for many needlework projects, and sharing food, friendship and handiwork with her friends, neighbors, and family. Around 2016 she moved to Auburn, California and continued her activities and friendships. Joan was a kind, generous, brilliant, and resourceful person who brought joy and happiness to many. She will be keenly missed by her family and friends.

Her remains were interred at Foresthill Cemetery. Please also visit the online memorial page at

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.