ForeverMissed
Joanne was born on July 30, 1949 in London, United Kingdom. The family moved to Indianapolis 1951 and she graduated from Shortridge High School in 1967. She moved to England to attend college, then became part of the Eel Pie Island Commune, the UK's largest hippie commune.

In 1981, she moved back to Indianapolis to be closer to her family. She worked for a time at the Public Access Radio Station WIAN. Joanne studied to become a Court Stenographer and worked in the field for 10 years. While raising her three children, she delighted in gathering friends and family from different cultures together for holidays and other special occasions. She would often visit Circle Pines Camp in Michigan to relive happy childhood memories.

In 1996 she relocated to the United Kingdom. She used her stenographer’s skills to work at the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) as a Live News Transcriptionist in Cardiff, Wales. She loved walking in the lovely Welsh countryside. She lived at times in  California,  a farm in Northumberland, UK then back to London where she worked for a time at Arista records.  

She moved back to Indianapolis in 2012 to assist a daughter recovering from a nearly fatal car accident. She retired to Sarasota, FL in 2014 where she became affiliated with the Kadampa Buddhist Center.

Joanne is survived by her  children Sara Red Rose Walton, Emily Crystal Walton, and Nicholas John Banks; sisters Leora Berns (David Schonfeld) and Beth Morrison (Scott Morrison), grandsons Angelo Torres, Ethan Banks and Alexander Taylor; nephews Benjamin Zarit, Elliot Morrison and Alec Morrison, and niece Ruth Morrison; and two loving cousins Harriet Wistrich & Daniel Ahaviel Wistreich, and by her partner Clyde Knight.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry & Jacqueline (Heiber) Berns, by her previous partner David Walton, and by her former husband, John Russell Banks.

Her many friends and family will miss her sparkling, warm, loving, funny and strong character. It is hard to believe she is gone and feels like such a big loss.

Posted by Gina Schuchman on February 23, 2021
I remember my fellow Leo with hair like fire, free spirit from the beginning. She always had time to talk and share. As best friend to her little sister, we spent summers at Circle Pines together and I visited the family in Indianapolis and they visited us in Chicago. When I went to London, by myself, the summer I turned 17, I stayed with the Wistriches (kind souls!) for the first week of my two month adventure and Joanne came to take me on a tour of her life, living rough and fantastic. I helped her delouse her hair and she introduced me to a friend who made suede clothes and I got a beautiful pair of suede handmade trousers which made me feel like a free spirit too. The last time I saw her was on a visit to Sarasota with Beth and we got right down to business talking about what had happened in our lives with interest and love. She lived a Grand life and I think she had many joyful experiences as she lived it. I want to remember her that way.
Posted by Nancy Gaubatz on February 23, 2021
I met Joanne in 1st grade at School 86 and we became best friends right away. She was so much fun, happy and silly. I have wonderful memories of our Camp Fire Girl outings and our sleep overs at each other's houses. I am glad we remained friends over the years and I got to see her smiling face and spend a little time together in London in 2019. Little did I know it was the last time. I am grateful for the memories we had and will miss her dearly! 
Posted by Laurel Kloos on February 23, 2021
I remember Joanne as being fun and carefree. I knew her in my childhood mostly and remember appreciating that she took me seriously when I spoke. She listened to me in a way that was rare and I kept it with me always. She remains a beautiful and bright light. Always loved and always loving.
Posted by Jessica Laird on February 20, 2021

   I travelled to Florida for a dear friend, my guru really – to provide support before a life altering surgery. I pulled in her driveway and saw her front patio all lit up for Christmas; She later told me she thought of taking it down but wanted me to see it first. It was charming, and glistening; A perfect reflection of her. An eccentric and festive representation of who I always knew her to be. 
   I could not get out of the car fast enough. I didn’t unload my bags, I didn’t grab any supplies, I just almost jogged to the house. There she was with her crazy blonde, yet put together hair, and a smile I had not seen in months. We couldn’t hug because of covid and her fragile state, but I felt her love and happiness to see me and those are the best embraces.
   Joanne was someone I met through work nearly 10 years ago. Immediately I knew we would be friends. And immediately we were just that. She showed me there are some people you can just see in an instant and know they will be important to your life. She showed me interesting restaurants in the city, cool graffiti in the most obvious yet unseen places, and tried to explain the ease of being vegan. She came solely to meet Stan when we got him home. She attended our wedding two hours away and was one of the last people to leave the reception. She visited our house shortly after we closed. For the important moments you could always count on seeing her there. 
   We had so many long conversations that week about life, love, God, morality, ego and how we are all truly just spirits and truly so very small in the scale of the universe. I asked for her advice and approval on so many subjects and she spoke in a way that protected me yet scolded me and said it would never be her place to judge me. She was always the perfect friend – always knowing the perfect thing to say – and having knowledge and experience to back it up. She was my dear friend. She knew my heart as she always had, and shared experiences of her youth that would rival most. I still am so enamored and intrigued by her. She was whimsical and free, as if she had never left the 60s - full of interesting stories and points of view. So easy to give her advice in a way that would change your way of thinking and in turn, change your behavior. She was my mentor – my guru.
   I love you Joanne. Thanks for “shrinking” my head and reminding me always of my worth. Thank you for showing me a love of 1940s movies and the many cups of tea and conversation. It will follow me through the rest of my life. Thank you, friend.
Posted by Veronica Klippel on February 18, 2021
Joanne was one of a kind. I revel in the happy memories we made together -- walking, laughing, enjoying life. She was such a gift in my life. The first time I met her she was rushing (typical), falling up the stairs at our court reporting school. I knew immediately I wanted to be her friend. She had so many qualities I wish I had -- her free spirit, her independence, her fierceness. She paid a high price for those qualities. I hope she knew how loved and appreciated she was. It's hard to lose a friend, but her memory lives on and she will be in my heart forever. I salute you, My Friend!
Posted by Beth Berns Morrison on February 18, 2021
Joanne was a fiery presence. Meeting her dark brown eyes invited a range of emotions : fear and joy being among them. To laugh with her was a joy, few could be as much sheer fun. Yet to be the butt of her displeasure was fearful. She had both a fragile insecurity yet a determination that was just plain gutsy. She was bold. She eschewed traditional ways. She made some choices that lead to tough realities for her and at times for those close to her. I'm learning now how much I will always miss her being on this planet with me.  
Posted by David McGraw Schuchman on February 18, 2021
I miss Joanne.

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Posted by Gina Schuchman on February 23, 2021
I remember my fellow Leo with hair like fire, free spirit from the beginning. She always had time to talk and share. As best friend to her little sister, we spent summers at Circle Pines together and I visited the family in Indianapolis and they visited us in Chicago. When I went to London, by myself, the summer I turned 17, I stayed with the Wistriches (kind souls!) for the first week of my two month adventure and Joanne came to take me on a tour of her life, living rough and fantastic. I helped her delouse her hair and she introduced me to a friend who made suede clothes and I got a beautiful pair of suede handmade trousers which made me feel like a free spirit too. The last time I saw her was on a visit to Sarasota with Beth and we got right down to business talking about what had happened in our lives with interest and love. She lived a Grand life and I think she had many joyful experiences as she lived it. I want to remember her that way.
Posted by Nancy Gaubatz on February 23, 2021
I met Joanne in 1st grade at School 86 and we became best friends right away. She was so much fun, happy and silly. I have wonderful memories of our Camp Fire Girl outings and our sleep overs at each other's houses. I am glad we remained friends over the years and I got to see her smiling face and spend a little time together in London in 2019. Little did I know it was the last time. I am grateful for the memories we had and will miss her dearly! 
Posted by Laurel Kloos on February 23, 2021
I remember Joanne as being fun and carefree. I knew her in my childhood mostly and remember appreciating that she took me seriously when I spoke. She listened to me in a way that was rare and I kept it with me always. She remains a beautiful and bright light. Always loved and always loving.
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