Obituary: JoAnne Carole Mack

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Posted at 2:06 PM, May 19, 2022

JoAnne Carole Mack passed away on May 9, 2022, after an extended battle with COPD. JoAnne was born on August 8, 1943, in Helena, Montana to her parents John I Wilkens and Josephine Wilkens. JoAnne grew up in Silver City, Montana because her father worked for the Railroad. She graduated from Helena High School in 1961, met Brian J. Mack, also from Helena, and they were married on June 23, 1962, at the Cathedral of Saint Helena Catholic Church in front of a 300+ crowd of friends and family.

JoAnne had two sons, John (currently living in Colorado) and Mike (Michael) living in Helena.

JoAnne was an ever loving wife and an excellent Mother. She was an accomplished seamstress, having won numerous ribbons, trophies, and the prestigious Grand Champion Purple Rosette in sewing while in 4H. she loved to go camping as long as it was in a camper, and she also loved bowling. When JoAnne and Brian could get away, they travelled to Jackpot, Nevada for fun.

For years and years JoAnne loved playing cards of all kinds including Cribbage and Bridge, but her favorite was Pinochle, particularly double deck and she and Brian would play with family into the early morning hours, always trying to get the elusive “Pinochle” hand of four queens of spades and four jacks of diamonds.

JoAnne was an excellent cook, but she really shined during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays (Christmas being her favorite) when the house and cookie jars and tins we filled with dozens upon dozens of cookies, fudge, and breads of all kinds.

JoAnne worked for 33 years at the Helena Public Schools Food Services program. She is survived by her husband Brian, sons John and Michael and her brother Jim Wilkens from Great Falls, Montana

A viewing will be held on Thursday, May 19, 2022, from 5-7 pm at Retz Funeral Home 315 E. 6th Ave. Helena, MT 59601. Mass will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, May 20, 2022, with reception to follow at Our Lady of The Valley Church 1502 Shirley Rd, Helena, MT 59602. Burial will follow the at Montana State Veterans Cemetery 1900 Heroes Road Fort Harrison, Montana 59636. Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of JoAnne