JoAnne M. (Plummer) Gordon, 70, of Vergennes, died November 5, 2019, after a long and courageous battle with a rare form of cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family at the time of her passing.
JoAnne was born on November 29, 1948 in Burlington, VT. She was the daughter of the late Leroy “Red” and Alma (Barrows) Plummer.
JoAnne graduated from Vergennes Union High School in 1967; and years later earned a Certificate in Cost Accounting from Champlain College. This certificate and her love of accounting carried her through many jobs and positions. The job that she loved and was most proud of was being the Payroll and Benefits Administrator at Feed Commodities.
JoAnne loved nothing more than gathering with family and friends. These times were filled with laughter, good food and sweet treats followed by a competitive round of a board game. JoAnne was her name; Scrabble was her game, which she played frequently with her sister.
JoAnne’s favorite outing was going to the movies where the air was filled with the smell of hot, buttery popcorn and her pockets were laden with Junior Mints. She and Drew would always take their grandchildren to the see the latest Disney movies and complete the outing with a hot fudge sundae from Friendly’s.
JoAnne had a very strong sense of purpose and was grounded in her spiritual practice. She proudly organized and co-hosted spiritual retreats for women of all ages, which were infused with symbolism, love and compassion. With the help of her husband, they created a labyrinth. JoAnne taught others the power of a walking meditative prayer. Her spiritual journey included making an elk-skin drum by hand.
JoAnne loved to take trips. Luncheons, day trips, weekend getaways and two-week vacations, as long as, she was experiencing a new place and seeing new sights, it didn’t matter where they were, just as long as she was with loved ones. Luncheons, at various restaurants, with her siblings and their spouses were always a great way to catch up. She and her sister would annually go on a trip in the New England area, often finding themselves in Maine. Over the last few years, JoAnne and Drew vacationed in New Hampshire with special friends, where they rode on a passenger train; in Florida with her siblings and their spouses to visit extended family; in Las Vegas with a special couple, which included day trips to the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and to Zion and Bryce National Parks; and they enjoyed dinner with a view at Top of the World at Stratosphere.
JoAnne and Drew cherished all of their trips, from their first trip to Niagara Falls to a more recent trip to the Adirondack Rail Trail, where they railbiked their way along an abandoned rail trail. Together, they enjoyed kayaking and canoeing at Martin’s Pond, Beebe Pond, as well as, many other bodies of water in the area. For the past few years, they have called Bulwagga Bay Campground in Port Henry, NY their summer home. There they would enjoy conversation, meals with wine, and nightly campfires with a special couple.
JoAnne had just started learning to sew. While she was an amateur at sewing, she was a novice at crocheting. She crocheted blankets, but her real joy was in crocheting personalized stockings for her sons-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren. JoAnne loved everything about Christmas and the spirit of giving. She would get so excited that she would go over budget every year, which meant that she had to color code gifts and use file cards, kept in her back pocket, to keep track of what was in each wrapped package. Christmas wasn’t complete without everyone receiving the same latest and greatest must-have gadget. Last year, on top of giving gifts, there was a Yankee Swap of snacks and a rousing homemade game of Wheel of Fortune to reveal a family gift. Christmas will never be the same.
Above all else, JoAnne loved her family. She was extremely proud of her children and grandchildren and all of their accomplishments. One of the biggest honors that she had was reading the poem “The Promises of Marriage” at her granddaughter’s wedding last year.
JoAnne is survived by her husband of 41 years, Drew; her two daughters Penelope (Mark) Delisle of Vergennes and Stacie (John) Reed-Savage of Jacksonville, NC; her brother, Donald Garrow (Nancy) of Springfield, VT; her sister, Sandra (Richard) Choquette of New Haven, VT; her sister-in-law Annette Garrow of Melbourne, FL; three granddaughters Jasmin, Hilary (Zak) and Ericka Delisle; a grandson Dustin Reed; four great granddaughters and a great grandson; several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins; and beloved cat, Howard.
JoAnne was predeceased by brothers L. Arthur Garrow, Stuart Plummer, three nephews, a niece and her very special friend, Claudette “Polly” Gendron, whom played matchmaker by introducing her to Drew.
The family would like to express a special ‘Thank you’ to Dr. Steven Ades, Dr. Carlos Marroquin, Dr. Christopher Anker, Dr. Devika Singh, Dr. Gino Trevisani, SICU nurses Emily and Gabby and many health care providers from Addison County Home Health and Hospice whom cared for JoAnne. A note of ‘Thanks’ is also extended to the staff of University of Vermont Medical Center, Porter Medical Center, Vergennes Area Rescue Squad and to Vergennes Lions Club for installing a ramp.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2019 from 2 – 4pm at the American Legion Post 14 in Vergennes. The family asks that you bring a written or typed memory to help us create a Book of Memories for the difficult days. Memories can also be sent to email@example.com.
As an expression of sympathy, contributions in JoAnne’s memory may be sent to Addison County Home Health and Hospice, PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753 or American Cancer Society, 55 Day Lane, Williston, VT 05495.