Joann Carletta Mize Thiessen, 80, died Dec. 17, 2020, at home in Terrell, Texas. Survivors include her husband of nearly 40 years, Tom Thiessen; two sons, Doug Wilson of Dallas, and Buck Wilson (and Ruth) of Seagoville, Texas; a sister, Marilyn Frank of Van Buren, Arkansas; and a brother, Richard Mize (and Dolores) of Edmond, Oklahoma. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Shari Renee Wilson on Oct. 3, 1963, and a brother, Carl Mize Jr., on Jan. 16, 2020.
She was a Christian, but believed there was more than one pathway to God and that others’ religious beliefs deserved respect.
Joann Mize was born July 6, 1940, on her family’s farm near Muldrow, Oklahoma. She graduated from Muldrow High School. She worked at Dixie Cup and in the Sears repair shop in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She also worked for Sears Service in Garland, Texas, where she met Tom, and in Sears appliance sales in Mesquite, Texas.
She and Tom moved several times. She worked in furniture sales and other retail in Sherman, Texas, and in Austin, Texas, she started making crafts and sewing, and selling her creations, and continued as they moved to Mesa, Arizona, Roland, Oklahoma, and Terrell.
“Her hottest selling items were the purses she created. She loved creating stuff and going to craft fairs and shows and finding customers that liked her stuff,” Tom said. “Her most exciting weekend was at the Van Buren street fair. She had to call me to bring her more stuff by early Saturday afternoon.”
Joann was in charge of all those moves.
“No matter where we had to move she jumped in and found us a house in record time. She did the looking and would select a few for us to look at together after I’d get off work. Then she’d go home and handle getting ready for the moving company while I was usually working at our new location. I know it wore her out, but she smiled through it and was always upbeat about the new adventure.
“She was an amazing woman. Her smile and laugh were so bright and infectious people couldn’t help but love being around her. She loved her family with a passion, even Carl Jr. when she’d get so mad at him she could pinch his head off. “She hated to drive in snow or ice -- actually refused to drive or ride in it. She was working in Fort Smith and it started snowing and icing the roads. She called Carl Jr. and of course he offered to come get her. When she got in his car, she started in on him about how were they going to get home and she yelled at him every time he’d slip and slide. He pulled in to the first place he could and she started in on him again. He just got out of the car, went in the store, came back and tossed her a sack: ‘Here’s a sixpack of beer. Drink it and shut up so I can get us home.’
“We were married for over 38 years and she has left gigantic hole in my life. God I miss her.”
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