JoAnne Powell Okpych passed peacefully at home with the assistance of Four Seasons Hospice on November 19, 2020 at the age of 77.
JoAnne was born in New York City to the late Robert and Helen Powell on February 14, 1943. She was preceded in death by her sister, Barbara Parks. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Andrew “Ackie” Okpych and her children Michael (Tina) of Hendersonville, NC; Amy (Wade) of Fletcher, NC; Jimmy (Michelle) of Rutherfordton, NC; and her seven grandchildren Kaitlyn (Devin), Tanner, Andrew, Nicolas, Powell, Marilla and Aubrie. She is also survived by her sister Claire (Danny) and her brother Robert (Margie), extended family and friends who she considered family.
Ackie and JoAnne moved to Marietta, Georgia in 1971 and raised their children. They moved to Asheville, NC in 1985. Their final move was in 1990 when they bought the Esmeralda Inn in Chimney Rock, NC. Owning and operating a bed and breakfast was a lifetime dream of theirs. Chimney Rock Village became their new home filled with so many friends who all became family.
A survivor of a heart transplant 22 years ago, she never took life for granted. She valued every minute of every day to its fullest. She accepted life with all its treasures and its struggles. She gave hope to so many people, not only with her words, but with her actions. She had been a survivor of cancer five times, before finally succumbing to cancer the sixth time.
JoAnne’s love of her family and the Lord was unquestionable. Her heart was filled with compassion and forgiveness for all. She only saw the good in people. She was without judgement of others and never faulted in her faith.
JoAnne walked as an angel on earth and is now walking with angels in heaven.
Due to COVID, the immediate family will have a small private service. We will have a celebration of life at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, PO Box 130 Bat Cave, NC 28710 or Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach, 2556 Memorial Highway Lake Lure, NC 28746.