Life Story Visitation
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Joanne Tiffany was a wonderful person to know and to love. She lived her life with a positive outlook that supported her during life’s greatest challenges. Fun-loving and family oriented, she was well-loved by her family and special friends. Her endearing personality will be dearly missed by the countless lives she touched over the years.
Her story begins on January 5, 1937, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, while the nation was still recovering from tough economic times. That same year, the Dust Bowl storms continued, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge opened, and the pilot Amelia Earheart went missing during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Joanne was born to Wilbur and Nilah (Prough) Mann bringing great joy and hope into their lives. Raised in a large family with three sisters and three brothers, there was never a dull moment during her developing years.
Growing up in Comstock, Joanne lived a wonderful childhood of the times. She enjoyed playing outdoors and joined in football and basketball with her brothers. After her schooling, she worked at a local cafe on E. Michigan where she met the man who would change her life forever, Ray Tiffany. Smitten from the very start, they were eager to settle down and begin a family of their own. She and Ray raised four wonderful children: Jeanne, Chris, Lorrie, and Craig. Joanne soon went to work at Lakewood Elementary School in the cafeteria and was active with the PTA. These years meant everything to her. She felt called in her role as a mother and relished in the duties of caring for her growing family. In addition to her involvement with her family, she also volunteered her time at the polls during the voting season and manned the radio at the Lakewood Fire Station when Ray, who worked as the Fire Chief, was out on a call. There simply wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her family or others in need.
She and Ray wanted the best for their children. They converted a van into a vehicle they could use for camping. Any chance they had, they would head for northern Michigan to camp with extended family and friends! Great memories were made on these trips. A highlight of their growing years were Sunday evening television as a family. Joanne created a tradition of serving her kids popcorn and her delicious fudge. Accustomed to a large family, Joanne and Ray also loved to host Christmas Eve Parties at the Fire Station. The entire family was always invited to a potluck-style event. Joanne would always provide a tasty dish for all the holidays, picnics, and special events. A wonderful entertainer and hostess, her favorite memories were hosting large family gatherings. Over the years, they had several gatherings at their lake houses on Crooked Lake and Pine Lake. Most of these special visits with family included playing cards and dice games as well as some recreational volleyball, wiffle ball and other yard games. Joanne thrived when she was surrounded by her loved ones and everyone was having a good time!
In addition to entertaining and raising her own children, Joanne treasured being a grandmother. She had twelve of her own including twenty-one great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Joanne was known as Grandma or Aunt to countless other kids as she'd babysit for other firefighters at the station or friends and neighbors for many years. She had a real knack for children and they took to her cheerful personality.
When it came to relaxation, she enjoyed a wide range of special hobbies. She loved crafting, sewing, and Artex painting. She and Ray worked together to create handmade gifts for the grandkids for birthdays, holidays, and special events. Joanne also loved to bake batches of cookies for special occasions! When it came to sports, she was a faithful Detroit fan. She especially loved her Lions and Tigers. Each and every Sunday she watched the Lions. Win or lose, she tuned in season after season!
Described as loving, compassionate, and kind, Joanne was a bright light in the lives of many. She never let any situation bring her down, instead, she counted her blessings and considered herself lucky. Joanne wanted nothing more than the very best for her many special friends and loved ones. May they always look back fondly on her rich collection of memories and may their lives reflect the joy and laughter she shared over the years.
Joanne Tiffany of Kalamazoo, Michigan, age 86, passed away on April 30, 2023. Preceding her in death are her husband, Ray; and son, Craig. She is survived by her children: Jeanne (Matt) Joiner, Chris (Vicki) Tiffany, and Lorrie (Terry) Billheimer; and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and extended family. Please join us for a Life Story Visitation on Thursday, May 4, from 4-6 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Visit Joanne's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, or to sign her guestbook. Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Association.