Joanna B. Ladd (nee DeBeer), 70, of Crystal Lake, passed away unexpectedly at home on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012.
She was born on Jan. 2, 1942, to George and Dorothy (nee Blair) DeBeer in Evanston, IL. She married Robert V. Ladd on Jan. 27, 1967.
She and Bob had two children, Samantha and Andrew, who they were lovingly devoted to.
A long-time resident of Crystal Lake, Joanna graduated from Crystal Lake Community High School in 1960, where she served on the Homecoming Court and was the Commencement Speaker for her graduating class.
After graduating from high school, Joanna attended Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, MA, graduating in 1962. She then went on to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority. She graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.
Between completing her education and starting a family, Joanna found a calling she would eventually make her career as a flight attendant for American Airlines. After experiencing the joys of teaching for a number of years in the suburbs of Chicago (including Canterbury Elementary School in Crystal Lake), she returned to American Airlines.
Joanna took great pride in her work at American, where she traveled the world as a flight attendant for over 45 years. She worked both domestic and international routes during her years at American, having a particular fondness for her route of almost the last twenty years to and from Narita, Japan. She was looking forward to her deserved retirement in February of 2013.
Joanna, or Jo-Jo to some, enjoyed life to its fullest, having a love of reading, music and singing, whether it be in a church choir or an a capella group during her college years. She also held a special place in her heart for Chicago sports, including her alma mater, the Northwestern Wildcats.
As a perk of her career, Joanna was able to experience many cherished memories with her family in the form of vacations, near and far. Not only was she able to touch the lives of family members, she was also able to extend that kindness to her friends as well.
Anyone who knew her knew her caring nature and sharp sense of humor made her the perfect host for many a gathering. Be it for high school reunions, the occasional “drop-ins” by friends, or the infamous Fourth of July parade parties, she was always willing to open her doors for any occasion.
Even a big black dog could not take away from her contagious smile and trademark dimples. With those infectious attributes, she was able to weather many hardships throughout her years with grace and composure. She was a strong, brave and incredible soul that one could look up to. She will be missed dearly.
Joanna is survived by her loving son Andrew Ladd of Crystal Lake; sister, Jeanne DeBeer of Chicago; sister-in-law, Vanessa DeBeer of Louisville, KY; nephews, Jeff (Sara) DeBeer, Greg (Laura) DeBeer and David (Shannon) DeBeer all of Louisville, KY; niece, Genevra (Tim) Knight of Chicago; cousin, Gerri (Wenger) Friedberg of Egg Harbor, WI and her daughter Molly (Chris) Solik of Claredon Hills, IL; brother-in-law, Jack (Adrienne) Ladd of San Francisco, CA and nieces, Alexandra (Chris) Ladd-Gaeser of Sante Fe, NM, Jessica Ladd of Albuquerque, NM and nephew Joseph Ladd of San Francisco, CA; along with six great-nieces and nephews of Louisville, KY.
She was preceded in death by her husband Robert V. Ladd; daughter, Samantha B. Ladd; brothers, Peter DeBeer and Paul DeBeer; and her parents, George and Dorothy DeBeer.
Memorial visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until the memorial service at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 at 419 E. Route 176, Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014.
Burial will be held at Crystal Lake Memorial Park at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.