Since Joan retired from active nursing in 1991, she has stepped up her activities to include volunteering at the North Texas Regional Cancer Center once a week where she makes coffee and delivers snacks and positive reassurance to patients and families. She also works with North Texas Stitchers, a private organization that provides neck and head coolers, helmet liners, pillows, soap-on-a-rope holders, and prayer rocks to servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also make teddy bears for service personnel to distribute to children. She got started doing that when her own grandson was stationed in Iraq.
Joan has been the Courtesy Chairman for as long as I can remember for our P.E.O. Chapter (an international women’s philanthropic and educational organization). Her committee organizes, prepares and delivers meals to members’ families dealing with illness and death or welcoming new babies. Her freezer is always brimming with frozen food waiting for a need to appear. She also visits people in the hospital, sends out birthday cards and generally watches over the wellbeing of more than 50 members in one way or another.
Joan with her beloved P.E.O Sisters
(bottom row, right)
As if that weren’t enough to keep her busy, she is also a greeter at Sunday church services, goes to Aquacise classes several days a week, walks at the mall once a week, is a member of two book clubs, three Bridge clubs, babysits for several families and does all her own housework in the house that has been her home since 1979! See what I mean?
Joan was born in Minonk, Illinois and still visits friends there almost every year. In the summers, she says she de-tasseled corn. She graduated from Methodist Hospital Nursing School in Peoria, IL in 1947 and entered a 33-year career as an RN – in Illinois, Kansas and Plano, TX (with time out for raising children). She has two children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, and has always been active in all their lives. Her life, as with any long life, has not been without sorrow. Her husband died suddenly in 1978, and she carried on. She cared for her elderly mother in her home for many years, and Joan is a cancer survivor.
Joan with her daughter Jane and her granddaughter Maggie
Lately, as is typical of this incredible lady, Joan has decided to improve her computer skills! So we have been working together to get her lined up to access information on the Internet for her book reviews and other activities, email friends and family, visit blogs and keep up with her home town news.
Of course, she approaches the computer with the same gusto that she approaches everything. She pursues the Internet because she needs to know stuff, and it’s fun. And because she remains the contemporary woman, she is definitely an example for seniors who can gain so much knowledge and pleasure by continuing to explore modern technology. I think she plays a little solitaire too, by the way, in her “spare time.”
Joan is a joy – much loved by many people. And when I grow up (!), I want to be just like her!
Keep up the good work, girlfriend.
Jane Booras is Editor of the Campus Times Newsletter for Computer School for Seniors (www.cs4seniors.com)