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Joan Currie Poppe

Joan Currie Poppe, 86, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.

She was born June 28, 1926 in Bend to Jack Willie and May O’Keeffe.

Joan was the youngest of four children and spent her formative years on a sheep ranch in Silver Lake. She was the apple of her father’s eye and he instilled in her a tremendous pride in their Irish heritage as well as a great sense of humor. She remained proud of her Lake County Irish roots until the day she died.

She went to high school in Lakeview and graduated from University of Portland earning a Bachelors of Science in Nursing where she was the president of her class.

She was working at St. Charles Hospital in Bend when a dashing young Irishman from County Down named John Currie swept her off her feet. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married in Bend. The Curries eventually landed in Portland, he working for the SP&S Railroad and she began her 40-plus-year career nursing at St. Vincent’s Hospital. They raised four children and enjoyed the joyful chaos that their children provided in their home. Friends of the Currie children remember the home being welcoming and inviting, and remembered Joan as being “so much fun” and “right in the middle of everything.”

Following the death of her husband John in 1977, Joan continued to be a strong parent and role model balancing her love of working as a registered nurse and the raising of her four children.

Joan and Karl Poppe, MD, were married in July of 1988. She and Karl laughed their way around the world together, splitting their time between Portland and their beach house in Arch Cape. After many happy years together, Dr. Poppe passed away on Thanksgiving day 2012.

Joan was fun loving and care free with a great sense of humor; she loved to say “life is a picnic!” Having never known a stranger, she will be remembered as great mother, caring nurse and a ray of sunshine in many people’s lives.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands John Currie and Karl Poppe; brother Gene O’Keeffe; sisters Josephine Schroeder and Maryann Basey.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law John and Julie of Reno, Nev.; daughter and son-in-law Colene and Stephen Bell of Battle Ground, Wash.; daughters Cathleen Currie of Boise, Idaho and Brenda Currie of Portland; grandchildren Brian McComas of San Francisco, Calif., Connor McComas and Devin McComas both of Boise, Idaho, Lauren Currie of St. Joseph, Minn. and Jack Currie of Reno, Nev.

Funeral services were held on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at St. Mary’s Cathedral Catholic Church in Portland followed by an internment ceremony at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. The graveside service was followed by a Celebration of Joan’s life at Kell’s Irish Pub in Portland.

Memorial contributions can be made to The College of Western Idaho Foundation, Nursing Scholarship, P.O. Box 3010, Nampa, Idaho 83653 or the Sisters of Holy Names, P.O. Box 411, Marylhurst 97036.

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