Jul 8, 2008

A Life Well Spent...

Today I attended the beautiful memorial service for Joan Mead, my sister-in-law. In many ways, Joni was more like a sister than an in-law. We were very close to contemporaries and she lived with my parents for the better part of a year in the 1960's while my brother Willy was deployed with his Marine Corps fighter squadron. For many years I was the bachelor brother and Bill and Joni hosted me on many holiday weekends. Joni was very much a part of my life.

Mark and David, her sons and my nephews, both spoke eloquently of her life, her love, and her influence. I was proud of them both, along with Laura, David's wife. Laura was a major caretaker in Joni's last months.

Joan died peacefully last week. Her obituary is so beautifully written, I want to share it:

Joan English Mead entered peacefully into God’s arms July 2, 2008. Born in Baton Rouge, LA, May 28, 1940 as Joan Marie English, she enjoyed her early childhood in Bay St. Louis, MS, returning to the MS Gulf Coast during her marriage. Joni as she was known, graduated from Christ the King girls school in Atlanta, GA, and counted those years as some of her best. During her years on the Gulf Coast, she was a librarian for the city of Pass Christian, MS. For many years, she enjoyed a career with the NOAA library at the Stennis Space Center. She was also a friend of Bill W. and was active in helping many women through that friendship. Joni loved art and creative writing; she spent her early retirement years taking classes at the local college in those subjects. Recently relocated to Orlando, FL to be near her son, daughter-in-law and grandsons, Joni was a resident of The Bridge. There she was a popular resident during her stay, as she volunteered her writing services to other residents and took notes on their life stories on her laptop computer. Joni will best be remembered as Grandma Joni to her family. She is preceded in death by her parents, Emmett and Marie English, her brother John and husband William H. Mead. She is survived by her sons, David Richard Mead of Orlando, and Mark William Mead of Costa Rica, her daughter-in-law, Laura Mead and her grandsons, Canon Harrison Mead and Forrest William Mead, son-in-law, Michael Brown, her brothers Richard English, Robert English, Michael English and sister Mary Kludac along with numerous nieces and nephews. She will be missed by all. The family asks that remembrances be made by donating to your local Hospice office or to the cancer research organization of your choice. Joni’s memorial service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, Winter Park, FL on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 11:00 am.

Rest in peace, Joni...

1 comment:

Jim Gilbert said...

My name is Jim Gilbert and I just stumbled across this and my heart just fell to my stomach. What a shocking way to find out about someone that I loved so much in the past. Joni was my very fist love. We met at a girls party that myself and friends crashed when she was just 14. I had never seen her before but somehow she knew me and just about every thing about me. We dated for about 4 years until she went away to school. I can't believe I'm doing this and feeling the way I do. This is just soooo weird. God bless. "jog_msg@hughes.net"