JoAnne E. Crisman of Peacham died Aug. 9, 2019 after a lengthy period of declining health.
She was born on March 15, 1929, the daughter of Harvey and Olive (Norton) Frick of New Lenox, Illinois. Raised in a small farming community, JoAnne aimed high, graduating from Iowa Wesleyan in 1950, the first in her family to earn a college degree. At Wesleyan she met the love of her life, Ronald Crisman, whom she married one year after graduation. “Ron and Jo” went on to raise three children. This year marked their 68th anniversary.
JoAnne lived in Peacham and Montpelier, Vermont, where over the years she started a Head-Start program, taught music in public schools, earned a master’s degree, and worked in alumni development at Johnson College. She was active in organizations that promoted the political and professional advancement of women, serving as president of the Vermont chapters of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women. A notable achievement during her tenure as AAUW president was drafting and proposing a letter to state governors to enlist their support in appointing a first female Supreme Court Justice. Her proposal was passed at a national convention of AAUW presidents, the letters sent to governors (who responded) and her effort widely credited as playing a major role in the appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor to the bench in 1981. She was also president of the Washington and Lamoille County chapter of The United Way. JoAnne loved reading (particularly Shakespeare and Dickens), gardening, theatre and music. She and Ron lived abroad and traveled extensively in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East.
JoAnne was predeceased by her parents and her sister Joyce Drotts. She leaves her husband Ron of Peacham, son Jeff and daughter-in-law Katerina Economidou of Joliet, Ill., daughter Candace Gomez of Cicero, Ill., and son Kevin and daughter-in-law Ginny West of College Station, Texas, grandchildren Claire (and husband David Volain), Noe Gomez, Leah Crisman, and Anna Crisman, and great-grandson Ethan Volain.
Her family wishes to thank friends and neighbors, and the terrific community of caregivers and health care professionals in Caledonia County who provided advice and assistance over the course of JoAnne’s illness.
A memorial service in Peacham is being planned for a future date. In lieu of flowers, please give a donation (if you wish) to Planned Parenthood, The United Way or a charity of your choice.
Ricker Funeral Home & Cremation Care of Woodsville has assisted the family with arrangements, www.rickerfh.com.