Joan "Joni" Lea Updegraff

03/06/1959 - 09/11/2023


Obituary For Joan "Joni" Lea Updegraff

Joan Lea Updegraff, 64, of Asheville, lovingly known as Joni, passed away on September 11, 2023, in Asheville, NC. She was born on March 6, 1959, in Toledo, OH. Joni was a remarkable individual who touched the lives of many with her kind spirit and unwavering determination.

Throughout her life, Joni dedicated herself to her work. She worked at DexCom, a company that developed continuous glucose monitoring systems for diabetes management. Her commitment to helping others was evident in her career, as she played a vital role in improving the lives of those living with diabetes.

Outside of work, Joni found joy in the simple pleasures of life. She had a deep love for music and cherished spending time with her family and friends. Whether it was singing along to her favorite tunes or collecting shells on the beach, Joni's zest for life was infectious.

Joni will be deeply missed by her daughter, Chelsea Marie Jacobsen (Theodore Edward Jacobsen Jr.)of Asheville, NC. She is also survived by her sisters, Susie Knopp Lynch of St. Louis, MO, and Amie Raber of Bradenton, FL. Joni's memory will be cherished by her nephews, Dominic D'Addezio, Adam Brewer, Jacob Brewer,Travis Brewer, DJ Rienstra, Dylan Rienstra, Eddie Rienstra, and her niece, Savannah Lynch. Additionally, she leaves behind great nephews, Conner Rienstra, Bradley Brewer, Alex Brewer, Rylan Brewer, and great nieces Paisley Rienstra, Gemma Rienstra, and Karlee Brewer.

Joni was preceded in death by her parents, James Knopp and Ruby Hendricks Woods, as well as her stepfather, Edward Woods. She was also preceded by her sister, Laura Woods Rienstra, and her nephew, Richard Brewer.

A memorial service to celebrate Joni's life will be held on November 12, 2023 at 1:00 pm at the DAV in Bradenton, FL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Joni's honor to the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance in Asheville, NC.

Joni will forever be remembered for the love and light she brought into the world. Her legacy of compassion and dedication will continue to inspire all those who had the privilege of knowing her.

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  • 11/08/2023

    Joni would lighten every room she walked in. She was always smiling and had such a beautiful laugh and was such a lovely lady. As Supervisors at CCS we would often run things by each other and worked so well together. Joni was so proud of her daughter Chelsea and would often speak of her with such pride. Joni was one in a million and I know she will be watching over Chelsea always Chelsea I am so sorry for your loss and your families loss of a brave and great beautiful lady.

  • 11/08/2023

  • 10/27/2023

    I met Joni at CCS Medical...I interviewed with her for a job with 2 other ladies and we proceeded to almost pee our pants laughing thru the entire interview...as hard as Joni tried to regroup...it made us laugh even harder. I was offered the job...I declined it...but oh what a memory.

  • 10/02/2023

    I met Joni when I was 12. We lived just a street away from eachother and grew up together in Bayshore Gardens, Bradenton. Joni had a zest for life that was unmatched and we shared so much growing up. I so miss our teen years and late nights on Yale Avenue singing to our favorite albums and having Ruby tell us to lower our voices, lol. Joni was loved and admired by so many. She was a beautiful soul inside and out, and the world was made a better place by her being in it. Love you, girl. Until we meet again. Much love and prayers to Chelsea and the family. Nancy White Bernard.

  • 09/28/2023

    What an amazing woman to get to call my work mom and friend! I miss our long conversations about life and how I am going to continue dealing with it in the loss of my mom! Joan still have me amazing advice while going through her own issues. My deepest condolences to her family and especially her one and only daughter Chelsea you were so important to her and meant the world to her. I know this because we always talked about you and I being our own moms one and only!! I am so happy to know that she has finally been able to meet my mom and they are watching over both of us and guiding us to keep our strength.

  • 09/28/2023

    A beautiful angel to watch over her family, my prayers for you all for the strength to continue 🙏 ❤️

  • 09/28/2023

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. - love, Jodi

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