Sept. 10, 1947 – Feb. 17, 2013
Joanie Marie Hanebury Davison died in her sleep on Sunday morning, Feb. 17, 2013, at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. Joanie lived with her husband and partner Mitch Davison on their farm near Powell. She was 65 years young.
Joanie was born on Sept. 10, 1947, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her early childhood was spent in the same three-story house that her mother Marie Struzzieri Hanebury (1912-2011) was born in. Her father, Raymond Hanebury (1916-1977), emigrated from the English-Irish community of St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 1956, he moved Joanie and her brother Louis (1950) to Elmont, Long Island, and she graduated from Elmont Memorial High School in 1965.
Joanie was an art and design student. Her drawings were of animals and horses. She went to work for a New York department store as a window dresser for a while, but eventually took a job at Aqueduct and Belmont race tracks as a groom and walker. She worked at Belmont during the two-and three-year-old campaigns of champion thoroughbred racehorse Foolish Pleasure. Here she acquired significant knowledge about horses, trainers and breeders.
She moved to Ocala, Fla., and worked on a horse breeding farm, which led her to a job raising Appaloosas near Rifle, Colo. The ranch eventually moved to Dayton. Joanie’s search for who she was led her temporally to California. That adventure brought her back to Cody and close to her brother Louis, who lived in Meeteetse, working on the Black Footed Ferret re-introduction.
She worked various jobs including laying track for the Burlington Northern Railroad and security guard for the Cody Museum. Joanie was also the dutiful daughter and welcomed her mother Marie in her life’s travels. Joanie’s search for who she was finally ended when she met Mitch Davison, a widower with two young sons. For the next 27 years she and Mitch raised two boys and ran a farm and cattle operation eventually encompassing 700 irrigated acres across 20 miles.
Joanie discovered that Foolish Pleasure had retired to a ranch in Wyoming. The Vanderhoefs, owners of the ranch, struck up a new relationship with Joanie and gave her a thoroughbred mare in foal to start her own Foolish Dream Farm. As a member of the American Quarter Horse Association, she created an amazing website and raised quality quarter horse/thoroughbred weanling prospects that were built for speed. She sold foals across the U.S. and Canada.
Joanie was the dutiful mother, cook, nurse, chauffeur, parts-chaser and truck driver. Although busy 24/7 helping with the farm, Joanie was the consummate interior decorator–always remodeling and painting. She was a student of the Internet. If she didn’t know how to do something, she would research it on the web until the project was accomplished. She discovered that her father who was in eight campaigns in World War II was awarded many medals that he never received. What would have been history lost, she acquired for her nephews.
Joanie and Mitch loved to take their dogs and/or horses on trips to the Big Horn or Pryor Mountains. The Pryors were her favorite and they enjoyed a few select spots that were special to them. Joanie and Mitch were able to go on their second vacation ever to Glacier National Park in September of 2012, which she enjoyed immensely.
Perhaps the quality that most did not know was that Joanie would think of those who others did not. She was there for many when they were sick or needed help. She would write letters and include photos or send earrings or little gifts and say, “I thought you would like these” or “I thought of you when I saw this.” She was one who did not advertise her sacrifices or good deeds.
Joanie kept in touch with friends and relatives and sent reminders that she knew and cared. She shared all that she did by sending Internet links on how to remodel this, how to fix this aliment, look at what we did, all with fully illustrated photos. Her family will miss her letters, her cards, her gifts and her almost daily email.
Joanie is survived by her husband Mitch and his dad Duane Davison, her boys Tyler and Josh, their wives Brandy and Autumn and grandkids Colby and Melynda and Hailey, Zoey, Mckayla and baby Ashlynn; her brother “Louieeee”, his wife Bridget and nephews Eaon and Connor. Her dogs Gus and Arwen miss her very much.
A memorial service for Joanie will be held at the New Life Church in Powell at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 1. The public is invited to join the family in sharing memories of Joanie Davison. Donations in her honor can be made to Old Friends (a race horse retirement home in Kentucky).