Joanne Marsh Souchek passed at her home on May 11th, often heard to say, “when it’s my time, it’s my time.” She courageously fought with health issues with dignity and grace, entering hospice care only to exit and restart rehabilitation. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, May 29th 1941, she guarded the number of her age as close as her weight.
She found Tracy, CA through her love and romance, married to Dr. Richard Souchek in 1982. As Tracy adopted her, she found a new home and hope with its residents. She ran to life, and away from death or any discussion of it. She was heard to say many times, “I need younger friends.” Friends was more than a word for Joanne, it was a family, and membership in a valued special club of her reality. She embraced those close to her with protection and generosity. Joanne was not just a member, or officer of organizations such as: Tracy Women’s Club, Inner Wheel, Republican Women’s Club, McHenry House, California Association of Realtors, Opera Guild, Inner Wheel, etcetera etcetera. She was a fearless ambassador to her beliefs, attacking issues with wit, courage and charm. She expected as much from her local authorities and officials as she did her family and friends. At a dinner with a former US President she stood alongside him for photos, she stated, “I’m just a farm girl from Iowa, Mr. President.” She left Iowa for California, she is survived by her sister Mary and her brother Harold, her sister said, “she’s everything she wanted to be.” A strong woman and fiercely embracing her unalienable rights, she marched in the 60’s as a woman, a mother and a citizen for equal rights for all. She was a single mother for a time, being the mom, and the dad, roles she accepted and conquered. She had no prouder accomplishment than motherhood, praising competence and stating, “a woman can do anything a man can do – if not better.”
She is survived by two sons, Archie and Andrew. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. Grandma was a term she would covet; granny was one of distain. She showered her offspring with gifts, trips, and joy. She loved Christmas, and it was a time like no other, with presents covering wall to wall, as if you were at Macy’s Day Sales event. But grandma was still at it, from a presidential inauguration, tropical islands and adventures to foreign lands she let no moss grow under her feet.
Being Joanne’s friend was like having the Willy Wonka golden ticket, a small club in an extraordinary world. She was part of the “Good Time Gals” and created the “Lucky 7.” Local groups of friends, that found laughter and joy in traveling and enjoying each other, knowing the value of shared experiences. As her friend, she would guard you, protected you, and adored you with gifts and love. Joanne doesn’t want your tears; donation can be made to McHenry House. So join her, join us as we come together to celebrate her life.
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