Joanne Louise Syre

Joanne Louise Syre

Joanne Louise Syre lived a grace filled life as a loving wife, devoted mother and Oma (grandmother). 

Joanne was a long-time resident of Moses Lake who passed away at home and went to be with her lord and savior on June 18 at age 78.  She was married to Steve Syre and raised three daughters – Marlo, Gina and Erika.

Joanne was born in Portland, Oregon, May 3, 1944, to Dr. John and Gladys (Blankers) Cook of Dutch descent. She grew up in Lynden and graduated from Lynden High School in 1962.  

She met her husband, Steve Syre, on a blind date at Washington State University (WSU) in 1963. They were married in Lynden in 1967 and moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where Steve was serving in the U.S. Army. They lived a short time in Ephrata and Soap Lake, Washington before settling in Moses Lake to raise a family. 

Joanne was a teacher. After graduating from WSU, she taught elementary school in Seattle. At Fort Knox, Kentucky, she taught science to Vietnam veterans in the GED Program. 

In Moses Lake, Joanne taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in the Japanese Agricultural Training Program at Big Bend Community College for many years.  Her students adored Mrs. Syre.

Joanne had a passion for serving God, teaching, helping others and making people in her life feel special.

She dedicated her time to raising her three girls and created a home filled with love and special family traditions. 

Joanne loved engaging in Bible study with her dear friends, both as a participant and leader.

Joanne was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and enjoyed being involved in a variety of activities. 

Joanne and Steve led the local Parkinson’s Support Group for many years. 

Joanne loved to swim, play piano, sing hymns, bake, make crafts, play games (played a great game of Scrabble), and gather with family and friends. She loved family time, celebrating birthdays and holidays, vacations and traveling to the family Winthrop cabin. 

Joanne always treasured the time with her three grandchildren and traveling to the Seattle area to spend time with her daughters and family.  

She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1977 and managed to live a full life with the disease. The challenges of Parkinson’s disease drew her closer to the Lord.

Joanne remained grateful with a positive attitude, always giving thanks. Joanne kept a note stating “give thanks” by her medicine.

Joanne always had a listening ear and was a good, caring friend to so many. She always enjoyed sharing a cup of tea and cookies with others.

When asked who is the one person you would like to meet, Joanne answered, “Jesus.” She is going home to be with her lord and savior where she can run and jump again.

Joanne will be remembered as a kind and sweet person who was always there to support and encourage others.

Joanne will be deeply missed by her family and friends as she has been an inspiration to us all, leading her life through faith.

A heartfelt thanks to the caregivers who loved and cared deeply for Joanne over the past months, and years.

Joanne is survived by her husband, Stephen Eugene Syre, and three daughters and spouses: Marlo and James Caldwell, Gina and Patrick Short, and Erika and Erik Gilbertson.

Joanne is also survived by her three grandchildren: Austin and Makenson Short, and Caitlyn Caldwell as well as her two sisters: Linda Cook Lagerwey and Trish Cook Rogers (Jim), nieces and nephews and numerous cousins.

Joanne was predeceased by her father Dr. John Cook in 1984, her mother Gladys (Blankers) Cook in 2016, and youngest sister, Stephanie Faye Cook in 1980.

A private family graveside service will be held in Lynden. If you find yourself in nature, or surrounded by flowers, the family asks you to dedicate some special thoughts or prayers for her. She’ll know. 

The family would love to hear your special memories of Joanne through mail or email.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to: American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) – Northwest Chapter in Seattle, Washington:; or Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation (NWPF) in Mercer Island, Washington: