A close friend to so many of us, long time Diablo member Joan Anderson passed away after a short but serious illness the last week of October.
Joan was an intelligent and creative person who chose fiber arts as her medium. She was a long time weaver, knitter, beader, spinner, and seamstress. Her color sense and her designs were always well thought out and beautifully put together.
Locally, she was active with Diablo Weavers Guild, Treadles to Threads Spinners, Valley Stitchers and Fiber Artists Guild, as well as other civic service organizations. She was an avid and gutsy traveller, never letting her physical limitations deter her. Whether it was to just be an interested tourist, or to take classes at a conference in one of her many interests, she was always excited to be on the go.
Joan was a member of the CNCH Advisory Group for many years. She took the reins as Chair of the 2012 CNCH conference in Oakland. It was a somewhat difficult time in that volunteers were simply not there. After a couple months of frustration, some of us actually urged her to cancel the plans and simply not let the conference happen. But that was not Joan! She had a dedication to the weaving community that few of us had. Her perseverance, her confidence, and her optimism came through. She was able to finally put together a great team that worked hard to make a good, successful Conference.
Within Diablo, Joan took her turn, more than once, for practically every officer position that we have. Diablo has always had many in-house programs with our members providing the meeting plans or make-and-take projects. Her stamp was on very many of them through the years, always willing to brainstorm ideas and help with the execution of what ever was thought of. For many years, she created special little fun objects to give to each of us who she knew was going to conference – they were to be attached to our name tags and it was fun to see what she came up with each year.
Joan clearly loved her family unfailingly, her daughter, her son, her granddaughter and her four siblings. Many of us shared in her granddaughter, Eleanor’s, growing up years. A great story she told about her own childhood, as one of five children, was having to pick up the walnuts from the half dozen or so trees her Dad had. She said they all complained every year about the job, and why can’t he hire someone to do that! His answer was always, “That’s what I have five kids for!” They were, and are still, a close knit family and I know they will miss her intelligence, her fierce independence, and her love, even more than those of us who came into her life later.
[written for Diablo by Vilija]