Family has always been one of Joanna Gaines’ biggest inspirations. The Magnolia Network star has her parents, Jerry and Nan Stevens, to thank for helping her reach her dreams as a home design icon. She has shared rare photos over the years with her mom and dad by her side, cheering her on through all of her accomplishments.
Just like Joanna and her husband, Chip Gaines, Nan and Jerry also have a sweet love story. Their romance began when Jerry was serving in the U.S. Army in 1969 and was stationed at a base in South Korea, Nan’s home country. The pair first crossed paths at a party and felt an immediate spark.
“Interesting enough, the way my mother tells it, she spotted my dad sitting off by himself in a corner at that party and said to a friend of hers, ‘That’s the man I’m going to marry,’” Joanna wrote in her book The Magnolia Story. “Her friends thought she was crazy, but she says she just knew.”
Jerry returned home to the U.S. in 1971 but continued to write letters to Nan while they were apart. Six months after leaving South Korea, he asked for her hand in marriage and she moved to the U.S. to be with him. After walking down the aisle, they welcomed Joanna and her siblings, Mary Kay “Mikey” McCall and Teresa Criswell.
Eventually, Jerry opened up a tire shop in Waco, Texas, and Joanna began working there alongside him. The family business was actually how the Magnolia Table author ended up meeting Chip.
“Her dad made the mistake of putting a pic of the family behind the counter at his shop,” Chip recalled during a June 2018 interview with PopSugar. “I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall.”
The Fixer Upper couple got married in 2003 after two years of dating. Starting a family of their own was something they had always envisioned. Jerry and Nan are now doting grandparents to Joanna and Chip’s five kids: Drake, Ella Rose, Duke, Emmie Kay and Crew.
Joanna gave a special Instagram shout-out to her dad on Father’s Day in June 2023, sharing a sweet photo of him sitting alongside Chip and his dad, Bob Gaines.
“Three of the very best,” she captioned the photo. “What a legacy. Happy Father’s Day!”
Scroll below to see rare photos of Joanna’s parents.