January 28, 2009

Gone But Never Forgotten

My family (among many others) lost an amazing woman yesterday. Dr. Laura Joanne DeLapp, or Auntie Joannie, as we sometimes called her, left us to be the her Heavenly Father. She was truly an inspirational woman and has touched so many lives.

A pioneer in the medical field, Aunt Joanne was one of three women in her entire medical program. She always teased that she didn't mind because there was always someone to carry her books, but it truly was an amazing feat. She, and women like her, paved the way for so many who have entered (or will enter) the field since.

She had such strength and independence, which I've always admired. People often inquired why she never married or had children of her own. The truth was that she was engaged - three times, but men at that time expected her to give up her career to take care of them and have children. This, though, was not a sacrifice she was willing to make. She chose, instead, to touch the lives of her patients and family to care for everyone as if they were her own.

She had an uncanny sense of humor. She often called herself not just my great-aunt but my greatest-aunt. I, of course, was her greatest-niece (just don't tell my sister or my cousins).

It has been a long-standing joke in our family that no one can put away food quite like Aunt Joanne. Where she stores it, we'll never know, but she was never shy about helping herself to seconds or thirds (especially desserts). And she was just as sweet as those treats she enjoyed. She was always willing to lend a listening ear and a sound word of advice, but it never came across with any hint of judgement.

We love you and will miss you dearly, Auntie Joannie!

1 comment:

  1. Peace be to Aunt Joannie's memory, and to you in your time of loss, Erin.