Chesterton Tribune



Joan Pruitt Ireland dies at age 83

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Joan Pruitt Ireland, 83, of Rancho Bernardo, CA, left earth peacefully on Monday October 20, 2014, at home, with her husband holding her hand. She was born March 10, 1931, in Chicago, IL, to Raymond S. and Florence (Hemingway) Pruitt.

Joanie graduated from the Latin School of Chicago, The Ethel Walker School (Simsbury, CT), and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

She was an involved Pi Beta Phi alum and a capable hand in two area bridge clubs. As a young woman, she participated in charity and social organizations in Gary, IN to make a difference in her world. As she encountered progressive hearing loss she became a strong advocate in the hearing loss community, eventually receiving two cochlear implants. She served as the CA President of Self Help for the Hard of Hearing (SHHH), now Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), and provided leadership and support to local chapters.

Joanie was a lifelong learner, returning to college in her 50s to study graphic design (and applying those skills in work settings), adopting all things technology, taking cooking classes, exploring nature, loving music, and keeping up with the youthful culture of her grandchildren.

She was a friend to many, and an inspiration to all. She lived her life with joy and purpose. Discovering that her life had an end date, Joanie focused on writing personal notes to those who had touched her life. She traveled back to Indiana one last time to connect with old friends, welcomed her son David back to Jamestown, RI, from his solo circumnavigation on the 40-foot sailing yacht Bodacious Dream, and attended her final HLAA convention in Austin, TX. Her family was grateful for the gift of time and the ability to help her do the things she loved.

Joanie and Robert H. Rearick had four children who survive her: Nancy (Rick) Usrey of Rowlett, TX; Margery (Scott) Chellberg of Indianapolis, IN; David Rearick and Timothy Rearick, both of Chesterton, IN, as well as grandchildren Tony (Kimesha), Danni (Michael), Corin, (Devin) and great-grandchildren Jacob, Nikole, Cameron, Gabriel, Riley Jo. She moved from Chesterton, IN, to Rancho Bernardo, CA in 1978.

On April 9, 1994, Joanie married UM alum Everett B. Ireland and happily made room in her heart for his children. These are Gail (Bob) Boyle of Santa Monica, CA; Tom (Juli) Ireland of Lansdowne, VA; and Bill (Ellen) Ireland of Venice, CA; and grandchildren (Brandon (Hazel), Jordan, Griffin, Sarah (Jeremie), David, Elizabeth, Katherine).

In addition, she is survived by her sister Barbara Siniscalchi (San Diego, CA), brother Raymond A. Pruitt (Sparks, NV), and sister-in-law Joan W. Rearick (Chesterton, IN), as well as five nieces and nephews.

Friends and family will gather in her honor on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., at Alhiser-Comer Mortuary, 225 S Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Joanie’s memory to one of these organizations: Pi Beta Phi Foundation (Emma Harper Turner Fund), PO Box 801867, Kansas City, MO, 64180-1867, (Michigan Beta, Initiation 1950). Hearing Loss Association of America (Development Office), 7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814, The Ethel Walker School (Fund for Walker’s), 230 Bushy Hill Road, Simsbury, CT 06070, Kaiser Hospice, 10992 San Diego Mission Road, Suite 2100, San Diego, CA, 92108.


Posted 10/30/2014