Date Honored: September 2010
JoAnn and I met on January 4, 1961 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and we remained friends for all those many years. It was ironic that we had our last and best meal together on January 4, 2010 at Red Lobster. JoAnn was loved by so many people for her friendly and caring nature. JoAnn loved her sister, Carol, and brother, Jerry, so much. She loved animals, especially dogs. One of the pleasurable things we did last year was to go to the El Paso County Fair so she could pet the animals. When we went to and from Colorado Springs on Highway 24, we would look for antelope, and she would call them her “Lodi.” I say, “hi” to them for Joann now when I see them.
If you read the obituary that she typed, you would know that she did such a wide variety of things in her life, such as a payroll clerk in Ft. Wayne, IN; worked at Remington Arms, the maker of the “Winchester”; worked at the National Center of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO; lived in Half Moon Bay, CA; worked at Pillar Point Fishing Trips, and was an auditor and supervisor for 18 years at Boomtown Casino just outside Reno, NV. While in San Francisco Bay area, she had an opportunity to sit with some Hells Angels and talk. She had an antique shop in Half Moon Bay named after her Great Uncle Gerald Parish. One day, Patty Hearst walked into her shop while she was on the run! They talked for several minutes and “No, she didn’t report her as she didn’t blame her for running.”
JoAnn was ingenious at designing and building things. She built a wonderful sturdy work bench with big rollers for me. Nobody could have done a better job. Many people, including myself, admired JoAnn for her intuitiveness in solving problems. JoAnn moved back to Colorado a year after I got transferred to Peterson AFB at Thanksgiving of 1996. We both loved Colorado. When funds became available, I built a “dream home” (ranch style, three bedrooms and three car garage) just south of Falcon. The doors and hallway were set up for wheelchair accessibility, the doors and faucets were handles. She had a half bath, lots of shelving for her DVD’s and numerous antiques, collectibles, and knick-knacks and tile flooring. We were going to live here for years in retirement, and we were going to be able to look out at Pikes Peak from the back of the house and enjoy life. JoAnn was only 70 ½ years of age. No words can describe how much I miss and care for JoAnn.
~ Mary Perez