Joanne A. McB­room

15 March 1924—02 Oc­to­ber 2018

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - LIFE TRIBUTES -

In the early morn­ing hours of 02 Oc­to­ber 2018 an ex­tra­or­di­nary hu­man be­ing de­parted this Earth. A finer woman this world has never known.

Her in­cred­i­ble mother and fa­ther taught her many valu­able lessons and as a young girl she helped her fa­ther run a gen­eral store in the small Amish town of Green­cas­tle, Penn­syl­va­nia. At the age of seven­teen she trav­eled alone to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. to be­gin her life’s jour­ney. She mar­ried and raised two daugh­ters who gave her three grand­chil­dren while, at the same time, build­ing a dis­tin­guished ca­reer as an ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary to both the largest health care agency and the largest en­gi­neer­ing firm in the United States. She played the vi­o­lin and was an ac­com­plished artist-rather than a talker, was a lis­tener and ob­server—an in­de­pen­dent spirit—a fi­nan­cial ge­nius and phi­lan­thropist. With a wit sharper than a knife and a so­phis­ti­cated sense of hu­mor she was both thought­ful and gen­er­ous. She edited and tran­scribed ten pub­lished travel ad­ven­ture books and, like a glad­i­a­tor, she bat­tled with grace and dig­nity the phys­i­cal af­flic­tions that marked her later years-- so very brave and coura­geous-brain tu­mor, kid­ney disease, de­men­tia and ataxia.

She was all this and a thou­sand things more. But these were just de­tails, foot­notes to her life. Much more than all this, she was my love and com­pan­ion for the last twenty years of her life. She brought me sun­shine and blue skies and in ex­change I vowed to give her hap­pi­ness.

As her kid­neys filled her blood with tox­ins and de­men­tia took away her mem­ory and per­son­al­ity, she never once com­plained. In the end, through all her pain, we sang songs to­gether and re­cited our fa­vorite nurs­ery rhymes. I took com­fort in know­ing that she knew she was loved—I told her a thou­sand times each and ev­ery day.

She was the love of my life—my lit­tle chick­adee— and now she is gone. She’s off to see the wiz­ard—the won­der­ful Wiz­ard of Oz-and I am left writ­ing love let­ters in the sand.

Farewell, My love, My lit­tle chick­adee, Joanne

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