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Joleen Ann Ries

June 1, 1958 ~ October 9, 2018 (age 60)

Joleene Ann Ries, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend passed away after a sudden and brief illness on October 9, 2018.  Jo was born in Pocatello, Idaho on June 1, 1958 to Robert and Ann Cook, the youngest of 4 children. Her older brothers, Jerry (Kathy) Cook and Steve (Jeanne) Cook, and her sister Jene Miers loved and adored this little spitfire that joined their family.  

Jo attended schools in Pocatello and later moved to Montana with her parents where she met and married her first husband.  They had 2 children, Eric and Sara.  They later divorced. On November 10, 1989, Jo married her long-time friend and the love of her life, Duane Ries, adding another son, Jeremy to her mix. 

Jo spent her life loving and serving others.  She was adored by her family and friends and loved by everyone who had the fortune of meeting her. Stories have been told of how her brothers, Jerry and Steve, often used Jo to get what they wanted because no one would tell her no.  Her older sister Jene recently moved back to Idaho to be closer to Jo and her mom, Jene helped considerably when Jo became ill.  Jo had a way of making things happen and never backed down from a challenge. She was a positive, driven, and uplifting soul. As an adult, Jo maintained a close relationship with her family and had become very close to her younger brother, David with whom she spent endless hours talking, laughing, and working on projects.  The newest addition to her backyard sanctuary is the gazebo, “Our Nest”, that is a testament to the hours spent together in easy companionship. 

She and her husband, Duane, spent countless hours holding hands, going for walks, golfing, and bird-watching. She treasured her four young grandsons, Roman, Louis, Herbie, and Edwin and lived to love and spoil them. Many memories were made at the beach, playing in the sand, and enjoying the pirate’s ship playground at grandma’s house.  When Jo wasn’t traveling to spend time with her children and grandchildren, she was planning for and reconstructing her home to provide a sanctuary for their visits.  

Jo is survived by her husband, Duane; children: Eric (Anastassiya) Johnson, Jeremy Ries, and Sara (Jemal) Krokos; parents:  Ann Wartchow and Bob & Twila Cook; her grandsons, multiple sisters and brothers, and countless nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.  

Family will receive friends on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 6p -8p at Hennessy Valley Funeral Home located at 1315 N. Pines Rd., Spokane Valley, WA 99206.  Funeral Mass with be held Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 11am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 304 S. Adams Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99216.  A Rosary will be offered at 10:30am, preceding the Mass.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Catholic Charities at

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