Joanne Driggs Raichart, born January 7, 1953 in Rexburg, Idaho, daughter of DeEtta Maxine Floyd Driggs and Cleon “Kelly” Howard Driggs, passed away on August 24, 2019.
Joanne grew up in Teton Valley and exhibited her talents and intelligence early. She graduated from high school in three years before studying piano and music at BYU-Provo. While attending Idaho State University, she met and married Randy Raichart on February 16, 1973. The couple lived in a variety of places in Idaho, including Pocatello, Lewiston/Clarkston, Boise, and Coeur d’Alene, before moving to New York State nearly 20 years ago. While in New York, she studied creative writing and wrote The Evan and Norma Floyd Family History: The Esprit de Corps, and her autobiography, ...But I Digress. She also wrote her own piano instructional course.
One of Joanne’s most charming qualities was her ability to cook. She taught her children the benefits of gardening and cooking from scratch. Every summer while growing up, her children would “help” make applesauce, canned peaches, and dried fruit. In autumn she would make fruitcake for her family and many friends. In her thirties, she discovered a love of bicycling, which she enjoyed with her husband, son, and sister, Joyce. She rode regularly until her passing.
She had an affinity for science and loved to learn, which drew her to the American Museum of Natural History. She was a docent for 17 years and won a Volunteer of the Year award. The AMNH will have a memorial service in her honor in Central Park in the next few weeks.
She loved nature, lighthouses and beaches, the Teton mountains, and Yellowstone National Park, which she loved sharing with her friends and coworkers in New York. She loved cinnamon bears, Bigfoot, rocks, and her children teased her about her love of circus peanuts.
Above all else, the best gift she gave to others was that of music. Beginning with playing during church services, which continued until her passing, she was well known in musical circles for her accompanying skills, recitals, music lessons, and arrangements. She taught private piano lessons for over 40 years to hundreds of students, many of whom pursued their own music careers.
She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Randy; her children Patrick Urion (45), Ginny Beisel (43), Nicholas Raichart (41), and Audrey Keyes (38); her sister Joyce, and brother Allan. She had six grandchildren who adored her and will dearly miss her.
Services will be held Tuesday, September 3 at 11 a.m.; visitation at 9:30 a.m. at the LDS Church in Driggs, Idaho. There will be another service on September 14 at her home church in New York.