A former resident of Sharon, Pennsylvania, she has been residing at Wesbury United Methodist Community in Meadville since Mother’s Day of 2011.
Joanne was born on September 20, 1925, in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, the youngest of five daughters of George Edward Black and Laura Dryden Black. Along with her twin sister, Katherine Ruth, Joanne graduated in 1943 from the Humberside Collegiate High School in Toronto, Ontario in Canada and from the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania in 1949.
Joanne married George William Wolfe on November 18, 1950. Together they had three children: Marilyn Ann born in Sewickley; David Andrew born in Hagerstown, Maryland; and Barbara Alice born in Marietta, Georgia. After Joanne and the children settled in Sharon, PA in 1961, she was employed by the Julia Forker Buhl Girls Club for several years before attending Youngstown State University to earn her teaching certificate. She then worked for Hermitage School District, initially as the elementary level physical education instructor and then as a classroom teacher, with students from pre-kindergarten through third grade. She retired from teaching in 1991 after 26 years with Hermitage School District.
Following retirement, she participated in numerous volunteer activities, including Meals-On-Wheels, Clepper Nursing Home, and the Community Library of the Shenango Valley. Joanne taught Sunday school at the Sts. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church. She knitted clothing, stuffed animals and dolls, and other items, which were provided to those in need, including Native American reservation residents, military personnel, and students in Haiti.
She continued those and additional volunteer responsibilities after relocating in 2011 to Wesbury United Methodist Community in Meadville, PA. At Wesbury she especially enjoyed painting rural landscapes and then distributing the artwork to friends and family.
Her professional and personal memberships included the Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association, Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees, AARP, Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Surviving Joanne are these relatives: daughter Marilyn Ann Wolfe Black and her husband Darl C. Black, Jr. of Cochranton, PA; son David Andrew Wolfe and his life partner Janet Kister of St. Louis, Missouri; her sister Mary Lou Brenneman of Manhattan Beach, California; and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. In addition, she had a very special long-time relationship with the Olson family of Hermitage, PA, including Rick Olson and his wife Cecilia, their late daughter Natalie, who considered Joanne as her “Nana,” and their granddaughter Rosalee Elizabeth Guthrie, who also refers to Joanne as Nana.
She was preceded in death by the following: her parents; her daughter Barbara Alice Wolfe of Sharon, PA; her sisters Eleanor M. Merk and Doris M. Milheim from the Shenango Valley area of PA; her twin sister Katherine Ruth Campbell Gimmel of Silver Spring, Maryland; and her former husband George William Wolfe of Rogers, Arkansas.
Mrs. Wolfe’s family commends the personnel and fellow residents of Wesbury for the excellent loving care and companionship she experienced there for more than seven years. In her final days, she also benefitted from compassionate care by the staff of Meadville Medical Center and Hospice of Crawford County, Inc.
Her funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 6, 2019, at Sts. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 699 Stambaugh Avenue, Sharon, PA with Rev. Jacob Deal presiding. At her request, there will be no viewing hours. She will be interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Sharon following the funeral service.
A memorial service will also be conducted in the chapel within Cribbs Residential Center on the grounds of Wesbury United Methodist Community, 31 North Park Avenue, Meadville, PA at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, with Rev. Samuel Marchetta presiding.
Arrangements are being handled by the Sample-O’Donnell Funeral Home in Sharon. Messages to her family may be directed to www.sampleodonnellfh.com.
Memorial contributions in Joanne’s honor may be provided to the Sts. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Wesbury Foundation Benevolent Care Fund. Consistent with her lifelong philosophy of helping others through both direct service and donated hand-made crafts, Joanne encourages her friends and relatives to continue such assistance by cheerfully donating their time, skills, and goods to the charities of their own choice.
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