The Rev. Joanne Enholm Bronson passed away Jan. 23, 2020, surrounded by loved ones all day; she was a resident of Waxahachie. She was born April 25, 1935, in Holdrege, Nebraska.
Joanne was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who constantly made time for her family. She was always very proud of each and every member of her family.
Joanne grew up in Holdrege, Neb., where she attended school. She graduated from Holdrege High School in 1952. Joanne married Gary LeRoy Bronson of Minden, Neb., in 1953 at Moncks Corner, S.C. She graduated from Glendale Community College in May 1967, Arizona State University in September 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, and Texas Christian University with a Master of Religious Education in 1978 and a Master of Divinity in 1984. She also went back to school online in 2016 to study theology at the Trinity school for Ministry.
Joanne started her career in Nebraska at the age of 13 working at the Hotel Dale. At 16, she trained and started working for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. She transferred to Southern Bell T&T in 1953. She taught Social Studies and English at Kirkpatrick Middle School in 1969 in Fort Worth. Joanne taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies for 3 years at Parker Middle school. In 1973, she became part of a Tri-Ethnic Team for Fort Worth ISD. She worked for Billy Sills and worked with Joyce Johnson and Shirley Schuster for 9 years on this ESAA team. In 1978, she authored a teacher’s manual for the history textbook, "Texas and its History" (Second Edition).
In 1982, Joanne and her husband Gary, along with Oran and Wanda Coffey, started a preschool at First Christian Church in Waxahachie, which grew to become a preschool and grade school. She was the principal there until 2003. She was ordained as a minister in June 1984 and became one of the first woman ministers of her time even when many still held contrary beliefs. After her retirement, she taught World Religions at Navarro College in Waxahachie. In 2007, after their daughter Annita passed away, Gary and Joanne raised Natalie like a daughter.
She loved reading, studying and teaching. She and Gary collected quite a few books of all kinds - Bibles, religious books, history books, novels, and some books just for the beautiful pictures. She loved to study theology and other religions. Joanne led many Bible study groups, taught Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, led many woman’s groups, and loved to talk to people about theology.
She was preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband Gary Bronson; parents, Henry and LaRhena Enholm; and her daughter, Annita Jo Bronson Shoemake.
She is survived by her children: daughters, Sherri Bronson Turner and husband, Richard, Lisa Bronson Doonan and husband Bill, and son, Craig Gary Bronson and fiancée Lea Hindelang; her grandchildren, Marcy Turner, Shawn Turner and wife Christina, Natalie Shoemake Bronson and her fiancée Ben Workman, William Doonan and wife, Jennifer, Rachel Doonan Smith and husband, David, Brittany Doonan Songer and husband, Victor, Evan Doonan, Christian Bronson and Shannon Bronson; her great-grandchildren, Tyler Moore, Dylan Moore and his wife Breanna, Rylie Moore, Roylee Moore, Tristan Turner, Hannah Turner, Sadie Turner, Allison Doonan, Hallie Doonan, Wilson Doonan, Henry Doonan, Amelia Songer and Hilah Songer. She is also survived by her brother, Harlyn Enholm; her sister Shirley Enholm; her sister-in-law Mary Losey and her husband Jim; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waxahachie under the direction of Father Terry Reisner, a special friend of Joanne’s. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or Dementia Society of America.
Arrangements especially for the Bronson Family by Wayne Boze Funeral Home. 1826 West. Hwy 287 Business, Waxahachie, Texas 75165. (972) 923-2700 www.waynebozefuneralhome.com