With the passing of long time, 26-year, Guffey resident Joan LePage, the community lost a valuable member.
Joan Louise Engel LePage died in the early morning hours of Oct. 7 at her home in the Pike Trails subdivision west of Guffey, after being in hospice care for about a month.
Joan was originally diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but while undergoing a hysterectomy, cancer was found throughout the lining of her abdomen. The doctor called it Primary Peritoneal Cancer, stage 3C, a rare type of cancer.
Joan underwent three chemotherapy treatments, but they left her weak and almost an invalid.
The next trip to the oncologist, the doctor said she could have more chemo and maybe extend her life six months to a year, but she would be bedridden. According to her husband Larry, she said “Hell no,” and went home and to hospice care. Larry spent the last two weeks at her bedside, 24/7.
Joan was born Jan. 25, 1937 in Illinois and raised on the family farm. She graduated from Maine Township High School in 1955. In 1957 she married Lawrence “Larry” LePage, a career Marine. The couple was married for 63-½ years.
The couple spent the next 20 years living in Havelock, N.C.; Washington D.C; Atlanta, Ga.; Jacksonville, N.C.; and spent several years in Misawa, Japan, before moving to Colorado Springs for 18 years.
Joan was an interviewer for the Navy Relief Society while with the Marine Corps and raising two boys, Glen and Jeffery. She was a department manager for K-Mart and a senior cashier for Cub Foods while in Colorado Springs.
The couple moved to Guffey in 1994 where Joan got her emergency medical technician certificate and spent 12 years as a volunteer EMT with the Southern Park County Fire Protection District. This was around the time when the SPCFPD was starting its own ambulance service.
Joan was instrumental in getting the ambulance service started and was Director of Medical Operations. Joan helped many community members with her medical knowledge and went out on countless emergency calls helping the sick and injured.
Larry was also with the SPCFPD as a volunteer firefighter for 18 years. The couple retired from the fire department in 2013.
In her spare time Joan loved to do needlepoint and other cloth crafts. Her home is covered with her needlepoint masterpieces. She often made her own clothes, blanket throws, pillow covers and upholstered furniture, according to Larry. Joan also made doll houses.
The couple has been spending winters in Arizona and New Mexico for a number of years, and Larry is going to continue the tradition and spend four months in Las Cruces this winter, and return to Guffey in the spring.
The community will sorely miss Joan LePage.