Joan R. Rufe, age 84, passed away on Sunday, January 15, 2023. She was a resident of Woodland Park, Colorado, for twenty-five years and was formerly a resident of Naperville, Illinois. She was a registered nurse who served four years in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and several decades as a labor and delivery nurse at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois. Joan was born on March 15, 1938, to Thomas and Fern (Battey) Knight in Wichita, Kansas. She graduated from Fall River High School in Fall River, Kansas, and Wesley School of Nursing in Wichita, Kansas. She met the love of her life, Lieutenant Robert (Bob) Rufe, U.S. Navy, when the most powerful typhoon ever recorded devastated the island of Guam in November 1962. On May 19, 1963, she and Bob were married in Yokosuka, Japan, where she was stationed at the time. Joan was fond of reading, baking, and traveling with her husband and family. She enjoyed da Bears, sunshine, the ocean and living in the mountains. Joan remained active in her church and the Navy Nurse Corps Association, was a founding chapter member of the Land Locked Navy Nurse Corps Association, was a charter member of the Military Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., and was a passionate advocate for the National League of POW/MIA Families. She is survived by her loving husband, Bob; her children, Karen (Joe) and Mike (Tia); her grandchildren, Hannah, and Zack (Tricia); her great-grandchildren, Adira and Thea, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Fern, and her sisters, Karen, and Ginger. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Shrine of Remembrance, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd. in Colorado Springs. A reception will be held following the service at Olympian Plaza Reception and Event Center, 975 S. Union Blvd. in Colorado Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Joan’s name to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society ( or to Pikes Peak Hospice (

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This Obituary Has 4 Condolences

  1. Joann was a fabulous woman whose love of life and wry sense of humor will be missed by her many friends but most especially by her family. Enjoy heaven, Joan. I know God loves having you there with him.

  2. One of the very Special people in my life married to one of the most Special people of my life. Love lasts a lifetime.

  3. Our sympathy and deepest condolences to Bob and the family. May the God of comfort, love, joy, peace, and hope be your portion. We cherish the memories with Joan, especially when they came to visit us in Hawaii, and she will always have a special place in our hearts. Blessings!

  4. So honored to have had Joan as a dear friend! Krisan and I so loved her and Bob! Our prayers, love, and sympathy to Bob and all the family!❤️❤️??

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