To the Editor:
When Clarence Negri told me that his wife Joanie had passed, I was both surprised and disappointed. Surprised only to the fact she had passed. Disappointed in that it had happened and that I was unaware her time had come. We all knew Joanie was sick, that the end was coming, but is there really ever a date, an appropriate date, for a friend’s life to end?
Joanie taught at the Washington School for many years and I had the privilege to work with her for eight of them. She was a leader at school and made things happen. Many senior staff there today were but in their early years of education and Joan helped in making the transition from prentice teacher to seasoned educator much easier for each.
Always helpful and never undermining, Joan Negri was the right teacher, the right educator, the right lady in the right place, to touch the lives of not only her students but also the teaching faculty and support staff she worked with. But first of all, she was a lady — always a lady, a wife, mother and grandparent who cared deeply for her family in their safekeeping.
Joan also sang in the St. Sebastian Catholic Church choir and she cooked some of the best meals I have ever tasted while at the Washington School when we would have a staff luncheon three or four times during the school year. Her bars and baked goods were to die for and, following her retirement, it was never quite the same.
Joanie will be missed for the lives she touched, the songs she sang, the meals, bars and desserts she made. But most of all, she will be remembered for the love she shared and the way she cared for each of us lucky enough to have known her. Joanie made a difference and her life was full and sweet and our community all the richer because of her presence. She will be both missed and remembered for her time so graciously shared with so many of us.