CHANDLER, Ariz — Vona Joseph, 89, passed away on Oct. 30, 2018, in hospice care in Chandler, Arizona.
Vona was born in March of 1929 in Whitetail. She was the middle child of three girls born to Lorinda and Edward Scharnatta. Vona grew up in Whitetail and Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School in Deer Lodge. She graduated from St. Patrick’s School of Nursing in Missoula and spent most of her long nursing career as a psychiatric nurse at Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs. After she retired from nursing, she volunteered at the Chamber of Commerce in Billings as well as St. Vincent Hospital in Billings. She loved volunteering as it gave her an opportunity to visit with people and use her excellent problem-solving skills to assist others. She had a heart for helping the underdog and was supportive and welcoming of people in their time of need.
Vona married Bill Corbett and, later, Jack Joseph. Vona had four daughters, nine grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. She lived for many years in Anaconda and also spent two years in Taiwan with Jack. After Jack’s death, Vona lived in West Yellowstone, Billings, and Casa Grande, Arizona. She loved to travel and enjoyed sharing her love of traveling with her grandchildren. She took them on trips with her to Cuba, Alaska, China, Canada, throughout Montana and to various U.S. historical landmarks.
An avid learner, Vona loved to read and particularly loved to learn about Montana history. She was a member and officer at the Montana Historical Society and was also a member of The Red Hatter Society. She became a member of the Catholic Church later in life and loved learning about Catholicism in her Catechism class. She had a lively personality and people gravitated towards her. Vona’s twinkling green eyes sparkled when she laughed and when she was telling her infamous stories, both true and elaborated tales from her life. She was known for being a witty and engaging storyteller and for always making people laugh with her quick wit. Vona was independent and spent the majority of her later life living alone. She was feisty and adventurous and loved camping in her youth and, in her later years, was always up for a trip to the casino in Arizona. Vona will be greatly missed.
Vona was preceded in death by her husband Jack; her sister Roberta; and her parents, Lorinda (Hurley) and Edward Scharnatta.
She is survived by her four daughters, Danette Donaldson (Glen Boire) of Oregon; Betty Rae Joseph of Spokane, Washington; Janis (Gayle) Roset of Billings; and Jacqie (Gary) Gernant of Arizona and Montana. She is survived by her nine grandchildren, Eric (Laura) Roset of Bozeman; Kristin (Kyle) Chenoweth of Helena; Scott Roset of Boston; Cory (Maria) Gernant of Phoenix, Keith (Melissa) Gernant of Phoenix; Tyler (Katie Carlson) Gernant of Missoula; David (Mariah Marshall) Donaldson of Portland, Oregon; Jessica Donaldson of New York; Stephen (Christina Love) Zeller of Spokane, Washington. She is also survived by ten great-grandchildren and her sister, Marian Crossman, of Las Vegas.
Funeral services and interment will be in Billings on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com