June 25, 1933 ~ May 16, 2020

Born in: San Francisco, California
Resided in: San Jose, California

Joann was born and raised in San Francisco. She was the first in her family to attend college and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1954. Her first and only employer was Kaiser Permanente as a Clinical Scientist and retired after 40 years. Joann Howard met Jim Wood while folk dancing in San Francisco. They married in 1958 and had two daughters, Elaine and Christy. In 1972 they moved from Belmont to Fremont. Joann and Jim were very active in their community. They were folk dancers, Ham Radio Operators, members of the Niles Canyon Railway, and in the first class of CARE volunteers for the Fremont Police Dept. They were always planning their next trip.  They skied, camped, and traveled extensively-going to Europe, Asia and South America 20+ times. They were both lifelong members of Peninsula Ski Club. Joann played in a Croatian orchestra for 45 years performing around the Bay Area and USA. Joann was proud of her Italian-Irish heritage. She was raised in her Italian grandmother’s house in San Francisco which greatly influenced her. She was a big gardener, an avid reader and was great with crossword puzzles. Education was very important to her. She got her Master of Public Health from San Jose State University in 1985 and later taught classes in Phlebotomy at Ohlone College. Joann had a great zest for life and was always up for the next adventure. She loved the outdoors, going to Tahoe, and playing games, including cribbage and gazooki. She was proud of her family, especially her grandchildren. We are proud of the life she led and will miss her.

Joann is preceded in death by husband James F. (2009) and survived by her daughter Elaine, son-in-law John Pitek (Grandchildren Stephen and Holly) and daughter Christy, son-in-law Tom Wright (Grandchildren Heather and Ryan).

Memories Timeline


  1. I’m glad I had the opportunity to know Joann and have the pleasure of playing music with her. She knew her music in her head even though she had the sheet music in front of her. She always had a story to tell about her current and prior experiences when traveling with her. I miss having her on my left side playing. She always had a friendly punch in the shoulder if I made a mistake. May Good Bless her and may His Face Shine upon her. May she rest in peace.

  2. We will miss Joann, went on lots of trips and events together with Jim and Joann through Peninsula Ski Club. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.

  3. CandleGods speed Joann, will miss you and always remember those fun days with you, Jim and the girls at the PSC ski club. Those were days to remember and cherish and I will never forget. My prayers to all.

  4. CandleDear FAMILY OF JOANN: I have known this wonderful Joann for more than 40 years. Her zest for life was contagious. She truly lived life to the fullest and I am amazed at all of her accomplishments. Her love of family was apparent each time I saw her, with photos and wonderful family vacations. Joann made her famous Achie/bakey pillows and had many to share with me…. I probably had 20 at least and gave most to family and friends !! they were the best!! I am truly honored to have known Joann and to have her friendship. I will miss her.
    Blessings to your family,


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