LUDEMAN, Mary Joanne,

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - RTDWEATHER DESK -

ded­i­cated daugh­ter, de­voted wife, lov­ing mom, grand­mother to eight grand­chil­dren and a great- grand­mother to seven great­grand­chil­dren, passed away on July 20, 2017, sur­rounded by loved ones. Born in Cir­cleville, Ohio on June 3, 1932, Joanne was the only daugh­ter of James and Okel Dancy. Her fa­ther was a very tal­ented home­builder in the re­gion. It was the suc­cess of his busi­ness that led them to Colum­bus, Ohio, where Joanne spent her child­hood play­ing the clar­inet, pi­ano and res­cu­ing any stray dog in sight – much to her par­ents’ dis­may. Joanne’s fond­ness of Ohio was ev­i­dent as she com­pleted mid­dle and high school in Colum­bus, grad­u­at­ing from Bex­ley High and go­ing on to at­tend Ohio State Univer­sity. This love of her home was only to be eclipsed by one other place she had al­ways dreamed of go­ing, Hol­ly­wood. It was dur­ing a trip her se­nior year that Joanne vis­ited Los An­ge­les and Bev­erly Hills with her mother and in­stantly be­came en­am­ored with the stars. Any­one that met Joanne will tell you she was the mas­ter of celebrity trivia, daz­zling friends and fam­ily with facts about Hol­ly­wood’s A- lis­ters. While at Ohio State Univer­sity, Joanne was a mem­ber of Al­pha Chi Omega soror­ity and served on the Homecoming Court. She be­came a diehard Buck­eye foot­ball fan who adored Woody Hayes and en­joyed watch­ing her team play in the Rose Bowl. She left Ohio State early to pur­sue her pas­sion for fash­ion at the Bar­bizon School of Fash­ion De­sign in New York City. It was there in New York that Joanne met the love of her life and hus­band of 61 years, Dou­glas H. Ludeman. Doug, then a se­nior at Yale Univer­sity, was in­tro­duced to Joanne through a blind date ar­ranged by his old­est sis­ter and Joanne’s mother, who were next door neigh­bors in Colum­bus and three months later, on June 15, 1952, they were mar­ried. Soon af­ter, Dou­glas en­listed in the Army. While he was serv­ing in the Korean War, Joanne lived with his par­ents in the Flat­bush neigh­bor­hood of Brook­lyn and worked at Salomon Broth­ers in New York City. She rode the train to work every day with her fa­ther- in- law, a se­nior part­ner at the firm – one day he would buy the paper, the next day she would. Af­ter Doug re­turned from the Korean War, he and Joanne moved to Fort Laud­erdale, Fla., where they opened a suc­cess­ful candy store called "Bonne Barniere." The shop was so prof­itable they were quickly sought af­ter and sold the com­pany a year af­ter open­ing. Al­ways one to know the value of a dol­lar, it came as no sur­prise when in 1956 Joanne be­came the long­est run­ning con­tes­tant on the orig­i­nal game show "The Price is Right" hosted by Bill Cullen. Doug and Joanne’s time in Florida was a won­der­ful chap­ter of their lives, rais­ing their two boys, Doug Jr. and Danny, as well as be­com­ing very ac­tive mem­bers of their church. While at­tend­ing a Bi­ble study group led by Dr. James Kennedy, they both be­came bor­na­gain Chris­tians and de­vel­oped a close per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus Christ, which de­fined the rest of their lives. They were found­ing mem­bers of Coral Ridge Pres­by­te­rian Church in Fort Laud­erdale and were ac­tive in evan­ge­lism in the re­gion, a core mis­sion of Coral Ridge. They shared the plan of sal­va­tion with those they met, some­thing Joanne was pas­sion­ate about en­sur­ing ev­ery­one un­der­stood. In 1964, Doug and Joanne moved from Florida to Rich­mond, Va., where Dou­glas rose to be­come Pres­i­dent and Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of United Vir­ginia Banc­shares/Crestar. Joanne made her own in­vest­ment in the Rich­mond com­mu­nity as an ac­tive board mem­ber for the Vir­ginia Home for Boys. She also served as an ad­vi­sory board mem­ber for St. Jude Hos­pi­tal in Mem­phis, Tenn., an or­ga­ni­za­tion they both came to love. To­gether they es­tab­lished them­selves as mem­bers of First Bap­tist Church. Af­ter Doug re­tired, they resided in south­ern Florida, but built their dream home, "Prov­i­dence Point" nes­tled in Irv­ing­ton, Va., along the Chesapeake Bay. It was an idyl­lic space, where won­der­ful fam­ily me­mories were made. Doug and Joanne’s river home was the ge­n­e­sis, in­spir­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of Lude­mans to call Carter’s Creek home. Though home was where they loved to be the most, Joanne and Doug also shared a mu­tual love for travel. In their 27 years to­gether af­ter his re­tire­ment, they set out to see the world, of­ten on long cruises, vis­it­ing more than 77 coun­tries. Their treks around the world gave them a deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion for di­verse cul­tures. A tes­ta­ment to their ded­i­ca­tion to one another, through­out these 27 years they were never apart, not even for one day. An im­mensely tal­ented woman, Joanne could have been wildly suc­cess­ful in any pro­fes­sion she pur­sued, but what she wanted was to be a house­wife and a mother, that’s all she ever wanted. Her pri­mary mis­sion was to safely raise her two sons with in­tegrity and courage and for them to love the Lord. Grace­ful and wise, but also full of grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion, she’d fight to pro­tect her fam­ily, like a li­on­ess pro­tect­ing her cubs. Sharp and fiercely loyal, Joanne had high stan­dards and could be tough on peo­ple, es­pe­cially fam­ily. She ex­pected can­dor or "call­ing a spade a spade." She de­spised hypocrisy, al­ways valu­ing ac­tion over word and de­manded re­spect and honor be­cause that’s the way she was raised and be­cause she spent her en­tire life giv­ing it away to oth­ers. Her faith, the hall­mark of her life, never wa­vered for a mo­ment. Count­less nurses, phys­i­cal ther­a­pists, chemo and ra­di­a­tion tech­ni­cians, doc­tors, aides and driv­ers heard the plan of sal­va­tion from Joanne dur­ing her 24- month bat­tle with lung can­cer later in life. She was never afraid to die, for she knew ex­actly where she was go­ing and had tremen­dous joy, peace and con­fi­dence in her heart know­ing she was a child of God. Joanne was full of per­son­al­ity. She was beau­ti­ful, witty, smart, pas­sion­ate and full of flair. She lived and died with dig­nity. In every sense, she was a true lady. She ac­com­plished her mis­sion in life to be an ex­cel­lent wife and mother, and passed peace­fully, and is now watch­ing the cross streets in Heaven with her beloved Doug. Her wis­dom, hu­mor, grace, love and ded­i­ca­tion - her legacy lives on through her fam­ily, her two sons, Dou­glas H. Ludeman (Court­ney) and Daniel J. Ludeman (Su­san); her eight grand­chil­dren, Katy Shonka ( David), Danny Ludeman Jr. ( Erika), Harry Ludeman ( Kerry), Al­li­son Ludeman, Sammy Ludeman ( Brit­ney), David Ludeman, Sally Wal­lis (Tyler) and Caro­line Ludeman; and her seven great- grand­chil­dren. A fam­ily ser­vice was held at Cur­rie Fu­neral Home in Kil­marnock, Va., on July 23, 2017. Memo­rial con­tri­bu­tions may be made to St. Jude Chil­dren’s Re­search Hos­pi­tal, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Mem­phis, Tenn. 38105 or Na­tional Hospice and Pal­lia­tive Care Or­ga­ni­za­tion, 1731 King Street, Alexan­dria, Va. 22314.

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