March 2024
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JoAnn Stoddard Passed Away

by Frank Stoddard (ACS)

My sister JoAnn never lived in Vietnam. Her identical twin sister, Jane, lived in Saigon from January 1962 to August of the same year. My brother John, the last part that made up the triplets were all born in July 1941 in Montana.

Jane died about six years ago a few days after having an operation on her neck, in the hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Her cause of death was never determent.

JoAnn had an operation on her knee a few days ago. She had been living with our niece Donna Ruth (Jane’s oldest daughter) in Rigby, Idaho (a town that one of our Great Grandfathers was one of the founding fathers of and where my Mom was born in a log house with a sod roof). Donna and her husband stopped by the hospital Saturday (February 8th) to visit JoAnn who had been moved to rehab. They are the ones that found her dead. Within ten minutes most of the family knew about it. (Modern communications)!

JoAnn died in the same hospital has Jane.

I am still trying to get a hold of my brother John. I have not been able to raise him on his phones. I think he may be at the VA hospital in Salt Lake at the moment but I’m not sure. He and JoAnn have not talked with each other since Jane’s funeral — I guess everyone has a story — good and bad!

It looks like I’ll be going to S.E. Idaho soon. Sue is not up to it, so I’ll probably go alone. My little sister, Mary Lu, is on vacation in Hawaii at the moment with her family. We plan to meet in Idaho Falls. (Mary is eight years my younger, and was in Saigon. She and I are very close).

I wish to thank each and every one of you for your kind words. I know I owe many of you an email, but I just don’t know why I don’t write more. I read what you send me, and I love seeing pictures from everyone. Thank You, Thank You.

We are doing well. Sue had to go into the hospital about 5 or 6 months ago. The ambulance took her way up to Phoenix, because they were the only one that had an opening. She stayed about a month, but is doing really well. She cannot travel much and needs a strict routine. She, however, is very much supportive of having a Saigon Kids Reunion in Phoenix (If you have not read Bob’s blog of late, please do).

Thanks for putting up with my rambling, am hurting, but we all know that we are now into that age group that this will happen more often.

ME? I am doing well. The VA hospital checks my blood count about every four months.
I am getting “slowly” bad, although I think my wife thinks I got “bad” along time ago, well before we were married! He He! It is probably good that I do not teach anymore — being around all those teenagers with all their sneezes and coughs. (I used to tell my students that I hate teenagers and the reason I became a teacher was to get even — most knew it was sarcasm.) Where was I? Oh! My nurse practitioners said my immune system is a little down, so I need to be a little careful.

O.K., Years ago when I heard my older relatives, sitting around my Mom’s kitchen table and talk about all their problems and illness, I swore I would never do that.

Love You Guys and Take Care of Yourselves!

11 comments to JoAnn Stoddard Passed Away

  • Frank

    I finally located my brother. He went to the VA hospital in Salt Lake City over a week ago. After having his routine appointment he went out to the parking lot in order to leave. He past out and hit his head on the pavement. Folks found him and he was rushed into the emergency care. He has lung infections and I hope it is not more serious. Tests are being done. He has smoked since he was 12.

    I turn to music during both good times and bad. This week could be better…my tears often turn to bawling. I always had my two older sisters, and now they are both gone. JoAnn was a person that always (seemly) was in charge. Whatever happen to her, she always seem to come out on top (what is that saying…”you step in a pile of something and come out smelling like a rose”…JoAnn was that person. She was always indestructible.

    Oh! By the way, I told my students that I was a nerd in High School and that others stole my lunch money and that is why I did not like “teenagers”! “A huge desire to get even!” He He!!

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Frank, what can one say to relieve you of any pain and make you a happier person? Just remember, we are all getting into that age where we start to fall apart and over time, disappear and while we may not like it, it is a part of life and we have to accept it. I don’t look forward to birthdays but I like to have them simply because when there are no more birthdays, there is no more me. So live your life to the fullest and enjoy each day regardless of the hardships we all have to face. Take care and all the best. Thinking of you and your family. Ken

  • Suellen Oliver Campbell

    Frank, you are in my prayers. Some of life’s saddest moments are when we lose our “past” when parents die, but losing a sibling is quite another sense of loss. I have mourned with good friends the loss of their siblings. I am the oldest of four and expect to be the first to leave the land of the living. I have never gotten quite used to this fact: that one day my siblings will be left with only memories of our times spent together. I hope they will remember the best of times we had and how we loved each other.
    I pray that you will be able to recall the laughter and love you shared with your sisters and that you and your brother can stay connected at this time of your lives. It is so worth the effort.

  • Randy Seely

    Frank: You and your family are in my prayers. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Christy Kent

    Frank, I am so very sorry. Love and deepest sympathy, Christy

  • Jane Anthis Stephenson

    Frank –
    I am so sorry for your loss. I remember your sister, Jane, but never met JoAnn. May you take comfort in knowing that your loved ones are with you in memories. With deepest sympathy, Jane

  • Bootsie McMains Parker

    Glenn and I will keep you in our prayers. May you find peace when the time comes. In the mean time remember what they taught you.
    I can relate with your sorrow. My Mother, Helen McMains, died this past October and I find myself still crying and with a hole in my heart. Hopefully, you won’t be a blubbering fool such as I.
    Take care, my dear.


  • Kathy Connor Dobronyi

    Dear Frank,
    I’m so sorry for your loss and pain. Each tear holds a memory. Please don’t fight them. They help you heal.

  • Frank

    I wish to thank all of you for your thoughts and kind words. They mean a lot to me. My wife and I will be heading back north either Sunday or Monday. My brother (the last of the triplets)has been in the Veteran’s hospital in Salt lake City for three weeks. He needs a heart operation, but because of his health/condition, they have “put” it off again and again. They (the doctors) will reassess their options on Monday. We plan to be there either Tuesday or Wednesday. Yes, “when it rains it pours”, but we all still look for that “rainbow”.
    Also, wish to mention to keep Rick Schutt, a Saigon kid, who lives in sunny Southern California, in your thoughts..He is struggling, very courageously, with his own illness.
    Again, Thank You, Thank You!

  • frank

    We are back from Salt Lake City (it is about 1000 miles from our house). My brother survived the procedure. He has to undergo another operation, but we are not sure when it will happen. They want to do it soon, but because of his ill-health they may wait a short time.
    We were very impressed by the care he was getting. Several doctors came and talked to us about what was going on and ALL seemed very professional. We also found it interesting that most of his nurses were male. All the staff at the Veteran’s hospital were so pleasant and when they found out that I was a vet, they all thanked me for my service.
    The thing that stood out to Suzy and I (our observation) was the fact that almost (at least 98%) of the Vets at the hospital were very over-weight and many of them “smoked”. I quit smoking on Thanksgiving Day in Stuttgart , 1986.
    John has been in the hospital for over four weeks. We stayed just shy of one. We are hoping that he is out of the woods, but we do not think he has long to go. I have stayed practical minded for the last month. This keeps me from getting emotional.

  • Cathie McIntyre

    Dear Frank, I am so sorry to hear of your losses and stress. Both Jane and JoAnn died when recovering from fairly routine surgeries. Now John is terribly ill. I am sorry to learn that Sue is not well. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Sue. I am glad that you still have your little sis to turn to. Thinking of you. Love and condolences, Cathie

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