Helen “JoAn” Martin, 78, died after a long Illness in Sonora, California. JoAn was born in Madera, California, to Bruce and Ruby Ennis Hoskins.

JoAn grew up in Madera and attended school there. After graduating high school, she went on to California State University, Fresno, to complete her higher education earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees there.
Education was her passion, and teaching was her forever career. JoAn started teaching in Fresno at city schools in 1961. In 1962, she moved to Sonora and started as a substitute teacher at Sonora Elementary School located then at the Sonora Dome. JoAn taught exclusively at Sonora Elementary School for 38 years, except for a one-year stint in 1965 as the last teacher-principal in Chinese Camp’s one-room schoolhouse.

She taught various grades at Sonora Elementary and also taught paraprofessional courses at Columbia College for teachers’ aides. She eventually went on to become an Advance Reading Specialist. She instructed other teachers on how to teach children who were at risk of not learning to read as part of the Reading Recovery Program partnership with Sonora Elementary and California State University, Fresno. It involved teachers from Tuolumne County and the Central Valley. Her passion for reading extended well beyond the classroom; she always loved to read.

JoAn was extremely proud of her two granddaughters and spent as much time with them as possible. She had many fond memories of spending the summers at Kennedy Meadows and taking trips to the “beach.” JoAn belonged to many service groups as a dedicated volunteer over the years and was a very active long-standing member of Omega Nu.

JoAn is survived by her two children, Michael Martin, of Selma, Oregon, and Melinda Boyer (Patrick), of Sonora; two granddaughters, Nicole Boyer–Banks, of Sonora, and Morgan Boyer Weigand (Adam), of Standish, California; one great-grandson; and her sister, Jeanette Ashworth, of Oakdale, California.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bruce and Ruby Hoskins; and brother-in-law, Frank Ashworth.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at the Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home, 225 E. Rose St., Sonora. All are welcome to attend and celebrate JoAn’s life.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of the Sierra, 20100 Cedar Road N., Sonora, CA 95370