ForeverMissed
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This memorial website was created in memory of Joan: a loving, patient, kind and terrific wife, a wonderful mother, grandmother, aunt, friend and co-worker.

She will be missed but her legacy will live on forever.

We met at a college dance; she had just turned 19, I was still 18.  I saw her and knew I had to ask her to dance.  She said, "Maybe later."  I took that as a yes and asked her later.  Three months later we knew we were meant for each other and were going to get married.

We had 45 terrific years together.  She was my best friend. We would say that "the two of us made a whole person."  That's how well we fit together. I became a much better person because of her.  In fact, everyone she met became a better person because of her.  That is her legacy.

She set an example for everyone she met. She was always sought after for advice from relatives, friends, co-workers and people she just met.  People would tell her their troubles.  It was if she had a "P" for psychiatrist on her forehead.  She had a "magic" backpack and told everyone that she would put all their troubles and problems in it, zip it up; it was confidential.  They trusted her and trusted her advice.  I never knew what was in that backpack.   

She helped me become a better person.  She helped me improve my communication skills:  that's a story all by itself.  She introduced me to Men Are From Mars, Yoga and the Enneagram. All led us on a beautiful, spiritual journey to growth individually and as a couple.  

She will always be with me in my heart and in my soul. We both believe that we will meet again.  The wisdom of the Enneagram confirms this for us.  The last book we read together really confirmed it for us:  "Many Lives, Many Spirits", by Dr. Brian Weiss.  I have felt her presence many times as have many of her close friends.

I miss her a lot. Early on in our marriage, she said she would die before me.  She mentioned it many times through the years;  it was if she somehow knew in advance.  She had a favorite song from the play, Pippen, called "Corner of the Sky".  In 1975 I had someone write it out in calligraphy and framed it.  It makes more sense now:

"Rivers belong where they can ramble,
 Eagles belong where they can fly,
 I've got to be where my spirit can run free,
 Got to find my corner of the sky,
 So many men/women seem destined
 To settle for something small,
 But I won't rest until I've had it all,
 So don't ask where I'm going,
 Just listen when I'm gone,
 And far away you'll hear me singing softly to the dawn.

 Rivers belong where they can ramble,
 Eagles belong where they can fly,
 I've got to be where my spirit can run free,
 Go to find my corner of the sky."          
 

She has found her corner of the sky. Somehow she knew she was going there. Very powerful stuff.  

Joan donated her body to the UC Medical School in Davis, California for research.  She said it was her legacy.  She was right.  When we discussed this, I told her that her legacy was more than that.   

I am her legacy.  Our 2 boys and our grand children are her legacy.  The people she met, affected and impacted are her legacy.  She was a powerful woman and an example of how to live life here on earth.  

This website is an opportunity for you to share what Joan's legacy is for you.  How did she affect you?  How did she impact your life?  Please share your stories, photos or videos and publish them on this website.     

 
There will be:
           A Celebration of Life Honoring Joan's Legacy.  

               I would like to incorporate your stories into that celebration.
                             Your stories will be put into a booklet 
                          that will be given to those attending the
                             Celebration Honoring Joan's Legacy.



         The Celebration is Saturday, June 17 at 1:00 p.m.


Location:  Sunnyside Tennis & Health Club   
                  5707 E. Balch Ave.,
                  Fresno, California 93727


    There will be finger food, dessert, coffee, iced tea, soda, water, 
         and of course Champagne to celebrate Joan's legacy.

                                      Music of course.  
              And there will be time for you to share 
                   your story/stories about Joan.


Thanks for reading and thanks for adding your stories about Joan to this website. I truly appreciate it.  She helped a lot of people.  I'm looking forward to hearing how she helped you.  

Your story will help others heal as well as inspire others to incorporate Joan's Legacy into their lives, making this world a better place. 

Love,
Ray     
 


   

New
February 21
February 21
Miss you Joan you were the best always remembered Leo is 19 and a brat you would love him rip
January 20
January 20
Reid and I are still wondering why you left us so soon!
Miss you! ❤️
Hope life continues Ray and you’ll be happy in the meantime, and we’ll see you soon!
January 20
January 20
Hello Joan. Hard to believe you’ve been away from us for so long. Miss you but talking about you comforts us. Thanks for watching out for Jen and her beautiful children, Josh and Joanie. I know Jen knows you’re around here all the time. Give Nona and Papa, Auntie Evelyn, Auntie Ida and the rest of our gang a hug for us. Think of you often.
Love Kathy and Rob
January 18
January 18
Joan always missed you were the best nurse ever. Leo is growing up he’s 19 now and talking up a storm when he wants , rip love you
February 21, 2022
February 21, 2022
A happy birthday in heaven with our Heavenly Father , what a celebration it must be we love and miss you Joan. Happy birthday 
January 20, 2022
January 20, 2022
Miss your beautiful smile and your outstanding professionalism you showed . You were a great friend Joan. Leo is a 17 year old man now you would be so proud of. May you rip missed by many but never forgotten . Hug my mom for me I love you Joan!
January 20, 2022
January 20, 2022
So many years have passed, so many memories, still in my thoughts!
January 20, 2021
January 20, 2021
I think of you almost daily especially because my baby girl is named after you. What an honour that is. Her smirk is just like yours and I tell her about you all the time. You are greatly missed and never forgotten. Dancing in the sky is a song listened to a lot in this house. Thinking of you on this heavy day in our hearts! Love you always xo
January 20, 2021
January 20, 2021
Joan time has past but your memory will always be with me. Your kindness , your caring and friendship will be forever imbedded in my heart. Knowing your in heaven calms my heart ❤️ love you Joan! Forever missed
February 21, 2020
February 21, 2020
As I sit here in my car waiting for this train to pass I think...Just over four years ago we lost an amazing human with wonderful gifts that she shared so willingly. I absolutely adore when she comes by to visit. Waiting for your next touch or whisper in the wind. Heaven truly gained an angel. Fly high Auntie, happy birthday...

Your niece Jenny
February 21, 2020
February 21, 2020
Hope you’re enjoying some great cake with Nona and Papa
. Think of you often Joan ......
January 20, 2020
January 20, 2020
Auntie, your are dearly missed and always thought about. Wether it’s the butterflies that show up or the gentle breeze the comes on the calmest of days. I cherish our memories and absolutely love when you make your appearance.

Xoxo
January 20, 2020
January 20, 2020
Joan I think of you often, I can’t believe you are gone but we will always and forever remember your kindness. You were a very special lady and I wish I could have said goodbye but cheering you up during your treatments let you know how much you meant to us.. my mother has been gone now 4 years and I hope your teaching her yoga now that she’s healed from all pain. Love you Joan and miss you dearly. Leo is 15 now and he says hello. Hi Ray and family as well.
January 20, 2020
January 20, 2020
Always in my heart and thoughts Joan! Thinking of you as well Ray! Hugs!
January 20, 2020
January 20, 2020
Always thinking of you Joan but especially today. Jen and Peter have blessed us with a granddaughter now and she’s named after you. She’s such a joy and Joshua is a great big brother. Jon and Nicole have a son Theodore who is just like his father in many ways. Give mom and dad and hugs and keep looking over us.
February 21, 2019
February 21, 2019
Joan, can’t believe your still gone you were such an amazing person. I will forever remember you and how good you were to me and my family. Leo sends his ❤️. I know you must be teaching everyone up there yoga and how to love , you were a positive asset to my life I miss you dearly. Say hello to my mom for me she loved you as well.
January 16, 2019
January 16, 2019
Well we are coming up to a time where we will forever be reminded that your body is no longer with us. You have left us with your beautiful memories and we are forever grateful for that. I love the way you come back to visit. Sometimes it makes me laugh and sometimes it makes me cry. 
I promised uncle Ray that I would never drink diet pop again when I was in California for your memorial. I hadn’t had any but I was craving some pop recently and we had some diet left over from a party we had. I looked at it and thought to myself should I drink this should I not. After the contemplation I did and after the first couple steps a Stain-glass butterfly that was given to me after your mother (nona) passed away and fell off my window. I knew it was you telling me to stop in a funny way I laughed out loud so hard as I poured the pot down the sink. This was the first time that the butterfly fell off after doing something that reminded me of you always thinking about you in some sort of way.

I recently had a baby girl and named her after you, her name is Joanie-Lee Katherine Carroll. I won’t lie sometimes Auntie comes out in front of Joanie.
You’re forever missed and never forgotten. I hope your dancing in the sky and singing in the angels choir.

Much love, come back anytime.

Jenny
August 15, 2017
August 15, 2017
Joan entered our lives as my supervisor at maxim. She would come to my home and i so looked forward to her coming. We would laugh and talk and she felt like my own family. She treated my son with the highest respect and he loved joan. She even attended my mothers funeral in jan.2016 and stood up and called her grandma in a tribute to her i was so happy she did that. i couldnt even get up and say anything. I miss joan alot and im so glad god put her in my families life . i look at her pictures i have and she had a beauty to her untouched. Her smile was amazing. I love and miss you joan. Thank you for your friendship.
June 17, 2017
June 17, 2017
This tribute is from Catherine Gates.
Joan was like a ray of sunshine and like a sister to me. We worked together at Maxim HealthCare and I will miss her so much - I loved Joan. She was so precious and shared her stories of trips and love of family with me. I will cherish her memory.
June 17, 2017
June 17, 2017
I will always remember burning my toes on the hot concrete beside the pool in her backyard, the family get togethers, the stories and the laughs. But moreso I will remember an inspiring woman with a servant’s heart who was incapable of not offering help when she could provide it to anyone that might need it. She was translucent in her joy for life and she touched everyone she met in a positive manner. She will live on in my memory as an example of excellence in interaction and love that I can only hope to match in my own endeavors. Forever a shining, guiding light. - Terry Zaroski
June 17, 2017
June 17, 2017
I honestly didn’t get a chance to know Joan that well but even so, she will have a lasting impression on my life. I can’t think of a time I spoke with Joan and walked away without a piece of invaluable advice. No matter what I was speaking with her about, she always had some of the most appropriate advice for me at the time. She didn’t offer advice in the same way an experienced person would typically tell a novice what is going to work.. Instead she listened to everything I had to say, understood what kind of advice I was looking for and offered helpful information that I obviously didn’t already have. Some of her support and advice, especially regarding our son, I have been able to pass along and help some others with! We didn’t live close and we were not in each other’s life until a few years ago, but I truly am grateful for all of our handshakes, our hugs and our chats. I loved watching Joan interact with our son Tanner, even when he was just a few weeks old. Everything about watching how naturally she swaddled Tanner up (into a burrito baby:)) and settled his crying was so perfect.
June 16, 2017
June 16, 2017
Ray: Thank you for your beautiful sharing. Although I didn't know Joan for very long, her loving, honest, kind, courageous spirit touched me deeply. Her smile and encouragement meant so much to me. She will be forever loved and missed, but I know Joan is where her spirit can run free, singing to the dawn. Sending love and hugs to you, Carol
June 13, 2017
June 13, 2017
I worked with Joan over the past few years. She has always been someone that I have respected and admired. I enjoyed the times getting together outside of work and considered her my friend. Joan was a person that I could always come to for advice and help. Thank you Joan for all that you have done for me. Namaste, Elizabeth.
June 13, 2017
June 13, 2017
I worked night shift with Joan at SAMC years ago and during a very busy time when some nights we'd work 12 hrs straight thru without a break we were all wanting to quit! Joan came in one evening smiling and singing, "I'm going happily to work". As long as we had to be there anyway, might as well have a good attitude! She always did. Over the years I've said those same words when I know it's going to be a stressful day and I think about Joan and smile.
June 12, 2017
June 12, 2017
Joanie;

I can shed tears because you are gone
Or I can smile because you have lived,

My eyes filled with tears when I learned the news,

I can close my eyes and pray that you will come back
Or I can open my eyes and see all that you have left

It brought back memories of how you touched my life,
I idolized you when I was a child, I remember being at
Nona and Nono’s and you sitting on the couch with your glass of milk

My heart can be empty because I can't see you
Or it can be full of the love that you shared

You were beautiful and pure to me, just like the milk, I looked up to you

I can turn my back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or I can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

I can remember you and know that you are gone
and I can cherish your memory and let it live on

I feel I became a nurse because of you.
Your strength, your character, your wisdom, I admired you and wanted to be like you.

I can cry and close my mind, be empty and turn my back
Or I can do what you would want: smile, open my eyes, love and go on.

I am a better person for having you in my life, a better nurse.
How lucky I am to have known someone so special
Though we weren’t close you have touched my life significantly.
And you will be missed.
June 9, 2017
June 9, 2017
The first thing I think of when I think of Joan is her smile. Whenever I was around her she was smiling. The first word that comes to mind is kind. She had this way about her that just radiated from her and instantly made you feel comfortable. I looked forward to seeing her on Sunday morning.
You are missed.
Love always, Monica
June 7, 2017
June 7, 2017
Some of our fondest memories of Joan are from the late 80's and early 90's when we lived next door: sharing holiday gatherings, our boys playing together, playing games and cards, going on some road trips, being introduced to and getting to know her parents. She had so many positive qualities and made the world a better place.
June 6, 2017
June 6, 2017
Hello Ray, While I never actually met Joan, I spoke with her several times over the past 6-7 years. After my aunt, Vonnie, had her accident and spent time in the hospital and rehab, Joan was constantly checking in on her and offering advice and comfort. Even though the two of you had only recently moved to be a neighbor, you both quickly became very good friends to Vonnie. It was a comfort to me, being my aunt's only relative in the area and working out of town, to know she had another trusted friend nearby that would be there if needed. I'm sure she is in a better place, running free.
June 6, 2017
June 6, 2017
As one of Ray's tennis partners, Joan was always supportive and upbeat--just like everything else in her life. I loved hearing the courtship stories--both sides, very funny. They always spoke as being true soulmates and I absolutely believe that to be true. And I believe I remember that America was one of their favorite groups "Sister Golden Hair Surprse" a favorite song. I was devastated when Ray told me Joan had passed; was in tears by the time I got to the car. I think Ray is spot-on about their souls being joined forever. Souls go on forever so Joanie is only a thought away. Still, she will be greatly missed.
May 30, 2017
May 30, 2017
I really didn't know Joan all that well, but when I did see her she was always gracious and friendly. Ray and I were doubles partners for a team out of Sierra Raquet Club and we went to Reno to play as a team. Ray and I were the deciding match for the win and when we pulled it off I ran to Ray and jumped up in his arms with my legs around his waist. Joan was on the side lines rooting us on and she was very understanding of my excitement. Basically, she was a class act. 
I lost my beloved a little over 5 years ago and truly feel for your loss Ray, but we always have our memories, our wonderful memories.
Love you man,
Jan
May 24, 2017
May 24, 2017
When I think of Joan I can't help but think of her smile, her sense of humor, her big heart, and big capacity for love! At a time when I felt when I was floating through life I met Joan and Ray, and they quickly made me feel like a part of their family. Whether it was an awesome yoga class at COIL, a retreat, or a champagne dinner with Joan & Ray, their love for life, for their family & friends, and for each other always shown through. Joan showed me that life is short so don't sweat the small stuff, drink the champagne, love often, and love hard. You will be deeply missed Joan!!
May 20, 2017
May 20, 2017
Joanie was my 'watching' the boys play tennis pal. We would sit and visit, watch, laugh at something silly. She was easy to be with, loved, loved, her Ray and her children. Always had something positive to say, never a negative. She would laugh at my trying to coach the guys, and we laughed ourselves silly once when I was 'supposedly' caught in the act. She enjoyed her getaways to the desert with her family. The Ranta family enjoyed their togetherness-they seemed complete. Ray, she is missed, but I feel blessed to have been even a small part of her life. Keep her memories ever present. Curt and I will continue to keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
May 20, 2017
May 20, 2017
One never thinks that your friend is no longer here. Knowing Joan since nursing training and living in the same residence, it's been awhile. Remembering her contagious laugh and that little smirk she had....the crazy times growing up together...the lunches and rides..meeting you Ray was the love of her life. She couldn't figure out why you wanted to marry her, But you got her and what a life! What a beautiful life! She'll always be with us....sending love to you Ray and the boys and their families.
May 20, 2017
May 20, 2017
Ahh, Joan. I met Joan at church. We shared music ministry for many years.  No one does a tambourine like Joan!  I loved our friendship. We would go to lunch every month or so to just visit, share family news, and celebrate friendship. I truly miss her—she was a great friend. We are all better for having had Joan in our lives.
May 7, 2017
May 7, 2017
My condolences to the family. Joan is a cousin through the Bortolon family. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to meet her.

May she rest in peace.
May 4, 2017
May 4, 2017
Say hello to all those we have lost Joan.....we love and miss you all !!!!!
May 4, 2017
May 4, 2017
As I reflect on the life of my dear friend, and cousin I can remember the smile, heart, and compassion of a wonderful woman. She was always the cousin we always looked up to. She was tough, smart and full of wisdom. She always had the right answer for any question and lived life to the fullest......right to the end. She handled her illness with dignity that we all wish we had even a portion of
May 4, 2017
May 4, 2017
To the family of Joan,
When I first met Joan, it was like catching up with an old friend. She was my supervisor on some cases I worked. I always looked forward to her visits, we would talk and laugh about so many things, our jobs, our families, and our daily lives. I couldn't believe how much alike we thought about so many things. We laughed about some of the similar things we went through raising our children. If I was busy when she made her visits, she would jump in and help me, she never made me feel uncomfortable or like I didn't know what I was doing. I always felt I could ask her anything and she wouldn't make me feel stupid for asking. She always said we were of the old school because we saw things differently, when my husband passed away she was a comfort to me, she checked on me as soon as she heard I had TIA. She would come early to open a new case I was to work on so I wouldn't miss any time. She inspired me to always do more than was expected of me, I have lost a dear friend who I miss terribly. She was an awesome lady, I want to thank her family for sharing her with me, she has made my life richer for knowing her and I will never forget her. Love Wilma
May 2, 2017
May 2, 2017
Dear Ray, Neil, Dani, Carley, Carter, Andrew and Kristi
I write this with great sadness over the unimaginable loss of an amazing friend to cancer.
She fought a brave and strong battle but the cancer would not allow her to get better. She took each day in stride, never really complaining, feeling tired and always hoping that the treatments would finally end so she could get on with her life. This was my hope too.
A beautiful woman, inside and out. I always admired how she never judged or forced her opinions on anyone, but offered valuable and truthful advice that I will surely miss. 
Love in friendship,
~dorothy
May 2, 2017
May 2, 2017
This tribute is from Bob O'Neill - neighbor and great friend
Dear Ray,
Your tribute to Joan just about says it all. When it comes to helping others, there are various categories and types in society - in both resources and willingness. Some have resources to burn but could not care less about anyone but themselves. In the willingness department, others are more than willing to help but lack the resources. Then you have those who fall in between in various places. Joan was unique. She excelled in both the resource AND willingness aspects. She was certainly there for me on a couple of occasions when I had a medical issue She also gave me a few rides when I needed to pick up my car at a repair shop. She was a wonderful wife, a great neighbor and a true friend. I, for one, already miss her and will to continue to do so.
Your Friend,
Bob O'Neill
May 1, 2017
May 1, 2017
Dear Ray,
This is a wonderful thing you are doing to keep her memory alive, clearly your pain shows, its apparent you have issues of letting her go, rightfully so. In the cosmic realm of time, we get but one speck, your attempt to transcend this into infinity might just work for you. While the rest of us lesser mortals are still trying to make sense of life. I have had the pleasure of only meeting you and partaking in your sorrow and your loss. The pictures help me meet her. Keep on the Good work.
With great regard ....Arvind
April 30, 2017
April 30, 2017
This tribute is beautiful! Joan who was beautiful inside and out would appreciate it. She will be forever loved and missed. Both of you were meant to be! I love the poem by Carley, she is truly remarkable. Sending love and blessings your way.
April 29, 2017
April 29, 2017
Hey Ray
We heard Joan was not doing well a while back but only heard recently she passed. Our hearts and thoughts are with you. Joan--always the professional, was working at St Agnes Hospital both times when my boys were born. She knew Andrea before her deliveries. And when paying a visit bringing the boys into the room, would still ask for the "Mom" to recite the #'s from the armband. I always thought that was a great work ethic by Joan, always the pro!
April 28, 2017
April 28, 2017
HI Ray
I am sitting here at my desk at work with tears rolling down my cheeks. Sad but also Happy tears! I immensely enjoyed the pictures you have posted so far and look forward to seeing more. Joanie ( my big cousin )was a very special lady and family member Thanks for sharing with us
April 28, 2017
April 28, 2017
Ray, thank you for sharing this. I know Joan through you. She came through you each time we were together. It was so beautiful to witness the love you had for her and her for you. You've given your children and grandchildren such a blessing. Yes, her legacy clearly lives on in you, your children, grandchildren and everyone she's touched, including me. Blessings and love to you and your family.
April 26, 2017
April 26, 2017
Thank you for sharing this with me, Ray. This is a beautiful tribute. I didn't get to meet Joan personally, yet I really get a strong sense of her incredible light. Your marriage is a huge inspiration for me & Roni. Much love, Jon
April 25, 2017
April 25, 2017
Ray, What a beautiful tribute to Joan. The pictures show what a beautiful love you share and how loving she is with all she knew. I know the love is still there and it is awesome that you and others she knew well can feel it. Wish I could have met her. Sending you and your family love.

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Recent Tributes
New
February 21
February 21
Miss you Joan you were the best always remembered Leo is 19 and a brat you would love him rip
January 20
January 20
Reid and I are still wondering why you left us so soon!
Miss you! ❤️
Hope life continues Ray and you’ll be happy in the meantime, and we’ll see you soon!
January 20
January 20
Hello Joan. Hard to believe you’ve been away from us for so long. Miss you but talking about you comforts us. Thanks for watching out for Jen and her beautiful children, Josh and Joanie. I know Jen knows you’re around here all the time. Give Nona and Papa, Auntie Evelyn, Auntie Ida and the rest of our gang a hug for us. Think of you often.
Love Kathy and Rob
Recent stories

A visit from Auntie

January 18
These visits happen periodically and I absolutely adore them. I’ll never forget the time she came by when I decided to open a can of Diet Coke after promising Uncle Ray that I would never drink diet pop again after Aunties celebration of life. It was after a house party, the next day someone left over mix was there and I thought what’s the harm in having one diet pop. I open the can, and immediately before the pop can hit my lips, the suction cup butterfly on the window that was from her mom’s house, that represented Auntie Joan fell off the window. I knew it was her saying “Jenny, you promised uncle that you wouldn’t have diet pop anymore, and I’m here with you”. Never again have I even thought to have one. God I miss her! The other morning she popped into my head and a soft smile popped onto my face. At lunch I found a dime on the ground and said to my friend, “doesn’t that mean something?”, she said “yes someone is watching over you”, I continued to walk and saw another one on the ground. I said “oh it must be Auntie Joanie!” Then I get back to the office, check my email and this memorial email was pending. Man does she have a way. I love and cherish every time she comes by and checks in. Sometimes I talk out loud to her, cry to her and laugh with her. What a wonderful woman she was and continues to be. Much love, Jenny. Xoxo

6 Years Later

February 20, 2023
Joan, it's been 6 years and feels like yesterday.  You've come to visit me on many, many occasions but lately it's been quite real and intense as if you are beside me.  I know you are spiritually always there; this is even more as if you are talking to me.  I love you and miss you.  
As you know, I've met someone; Linda.  She is terrific and we talk about you, often. We talk about her husband, Skip, often too.  We both miss both of you.  Sometimes both of you are with us.  It's hard to explain to others, but I know you know.
It's your birthday tomorrow.  Happy Birthday. I love you, always and forever.
Keep visiting me and the kids and your friends and Jenny and your namesake, Joanie Lee.  She is a pistol for sure and I know you would love her and be best friends forever.
Love Forever, 
Ray
January 20, 2021
Joan, you will be forever loved and missed by so many.  Your presence in so many lives made sucy a difference.  You are one of the few who are born with a halo and I'm sure it is even brighter today.
Ray is proceeding in a thoughtful way and we will counsel when requested.
Love,
C&L

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