She grew up in Manchester, N.H., surrounded by a large and lively family of loving uncles and beloved aunts whose hearty holidays became the stuff of family legend — lovingly retold in later years around her richly decorated Christmas tree. The eternal big sister, Jo cherished her childhood with sister, Elaine, brothers, Dennis and Paul, and cousins, Diane, Michelle, Jeannine and Ronnie.
A lifelong tradition of sisterly travels began in a VW bug touring the South. In 1968, this fashionable, well-cut young woman, who loved to dance, moved to Maine, and married, working as a historic tour guide at the Black House, becoming a favorite of Ms. Eliason. A gifted gardener of deep knowledge, flowers burgeoned and bloomed beneath her fingertips, around her house, Birdsacre and Woodlawn. Joanne expressed an expansive creativity in her writing, baking, embroidery and knitting, though she was at her best in simple conversation over a cup of coffee.
A ferocious reader, and tireless researcher, she ran a tight ship at the Ellsworth Public Library in the ’70s, and later assisted at the Ellsworth High School Library, endearing countless classes with her no-nonsense, heartfelt affection; finally, retiring in 2012.
The camaraderie of great friends marked the high tide of endless summers showcasing Acadia National Park at Eastern National. Joanne was a strong supporter of AFS, Ellsworth Soccer and the French club. With an adventurous spirit, and a sturdy cane, she traipsed off — solo — exploring Italy, France, and Mexico City.
All through the years, Joanne retained an inner strength that oversaw any obstacle. On Dec. 10, fate’s surmounter — surviving cancer for 20 years — found her peace in the gentle, morning rain, that allowed her to drift off, calling for her mother to follow beyond and reunite with her father in heaven; leaving this world a little less bright; leaving two boys: Gardiner and Grayson, Kathy Budwine; her sister, Elaine, brothers, Dennis and Paul, 10 deeply loved nieces and nephews, special cousins, and her favorite Aunt Yvette and Uncles, Arthur and Maurice.
In lieu of flowers, seize this moment to express your love for those you do. A celebration of her life will wait for spring’s warmth.