The Life and Times of JoAnne Willard

Happy Birthday Oct. 16!

Clallam Bay says fare thee well to JoAnn Willard. JoAnn has lived here with us, some of us longer than others, for many years!

JoAnn is going to live in a nursing home in Yelm.

She describes coming to Clallam Bay when her son Kevin was in high school. She wanted him to be in the outdoor education class that Bill Riedel was then running at the school so she moved on in and started her first job as a nurse practitioner, starting the first clinic in Clallam Bay, where the liquor store was until recently.

Kevin has since grown! He lives and works in the Olympia region.

She describes her first impressions of Clallam Bay and Sekiu as being distressed by the constant clanging of the marine buoy as it dinged and dinged in the constant fog on the strait all night long. She tells it that she was disappointed by the sound, but in her last 20 years she has lived in full view of the buoy and I suspect it became her companion.

JoAnn is a very kind and loving lady. She has supported many folk, especially women during her years here in the Bay. A wonderful team of women have supported her living alone for the past three years and have loved her well. We don’t believe it will be the same without her here. Her move to Yelm has been hastened by the loss of two of her much loved dogs in the last few months.

I wish JoAnn happiness and I know she will enjoy telling her many good stories to those of her new friends that she will be living with, her best friend Mary Lou and her son Kevin and her step daughter Cory.

It’s always good to make your own choices, live with love JoBee!

Now I will tell a couple of stories on JoAnn.

If she ever heard of friend in distress or dying she would go down to the beach and throw a pebble in the water making a prayer for that person.

One day she gave me a piece of dark blue sea glass, I still have it. She looked at me and said, “This is so you will get a home.”  It worked.

But the best bit … on her 80th Birthday, KC Winters, the then owner of the Winter Summer Inn, put on a birthday party for her. We all came; we all love JoAnn for one good reason or another. KC always put on a good party and her B&B was always welcoming and open hearted.

We talked and ate and told stories, reviewing friendships and connections for several hours, being kind and courteous to the “old lady” the 80 year old! Then, JoAnn, feeling the party coming to a close, got up put on loud music and started to dance. She danced alone, spinning and twirling, laughing and dipping for a full 5 minutes. She put us all to shame; we figured if we are still doing this when we are 80 we will blame it on JoBee!

She was keenly invited to all parties, she drove a red car, she had three dogs in her little home and she travelled abroad as much as she possibly could and loved every minute of it. She collected original art and had a wall gallery of local artists. She loved young people and their company and was very proud to be chosen as Peninsula Woman for the Peninsula Daily News.

Her greatest love was being a health care provider for this special community she called home and knowing Doctor Kriebel and his family. She loves yellow and blue together in any combination and says when she comes back next life she will be a surgeon, because she loved to stitch people up as a result of accidents!

JoAnn Willard,

May you live long and happy, you are loved and appreciated.