Joanne Elizabeth Lawson Backus
1947 ~ 2013

Joanne Elizabeth Lawson Backus, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, passed away peacefully on February 3, 2013, after courageously battling diabetes through much of her life. Her husband and daughter, along with other family members, were at her side.

Joanne was born July 18, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the first of five children born to Mennell V. Lawson and Thelma Elizabeth Swenson. As a child, she acquired a love for music and learned to play the piano and organ. She excelled at both and loved sharing her talent throughout her life.

After high school, Joanne moved to Provo, Utah, where she attended B.Y.U. In 1966, she married Merrill Finlayson. Although they later divorced, they remained proud parents of their two beautiful daughters, Meg and Becca Finlayson.

On July 2, 1987, Joanne married D. Craig Backus of Orem, Utah. Joanne and Craig made their home in Orem, where they became active members of the Orem Community Church. Joanne enjoyed playing the organ and participating in many congregational activities. She was recognized for her Christ-like willingness to serve others and did so by volunteering for many church projects. This selflessness also blessed her family and friends and permeated her favorite pastime, being with those she loved. Only second to spending time with loved ones, was her passion for reading. She recently began carrying a large library on her kindle, which was always in her possession.

At the time of her passing, Joanne worked as a clerk for the Utah State Juvenile Court in Orem. She was a dedicated employee for more than 30 years, during which time she influenced many lives and acquired numerous devoted friends.

She is survived by her husband Craig; daughter Meg (Daren Warnick); grandchildren, Jordan, Jenna and Jace Winger, Jayden, Channing, Jesse, Gavin and Jenikah; siblings, Kathy O’hara, Maxine Priest, and Dave Lawson (Elizabeth); sister-in-law Kathy Backus; brother-in-law; Scot Backus aunt Edel (Ernie) Bodamer; 3 step-children Kimberli, K.C. (Jill) and Klint, numerous nieces and nephews; and her beloved cat, Igor. Joanne was preceded in death by her daughter Becca; her parents, her sister Randi and her sister-in-law Deborah.

Family and friends are invited to participate in a celebration of Joanne’s life on Saturday, February 9, 2013, from 1pm-3pm at the Orem Community Church, 130 North 400 East, Orem, Utah. Lunch will be provided.

The family would like to extend a heart-felt, Thank You, to all those who expressed concern and offered help over the past two weeks.

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