Joanne A. McBroom
15 March 1924—02 October 2018
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