Saturday, May 7, 2016

Joan Casey Update #16: Obituary

Joan Casey - Beaming Radiant Dee-ness!
Joan Kathryn Casey - Born 05/16/1941 in Mount Vernon, NY to her parents, Paul E Casey & Eleanor Hunter Casey, she took her last breath on 04/12/2016 in Redding, CA with her husband, John and her Vajra Sister, Nora McKay, at her side.

Joan’s death was peaceful, resulting from respiratory failure and other complications while at Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, CA

She is survived by her husband & life companion for over 32 years, John Watts of Bellingham, WA, her Step-son, Tom Watts of Charlotte, NC, and her Sister-in-law, Kathy Casey of Yonkers, NY

Joan valued the higher meanings in life, and having viewed Catholic, Presbyterian and Buddhist perspectives, she saw commonalities rather than differences. 

Joan was a devout Buddhist, first introduced to Buddhism by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, leader of the Dzogchen Community, in the Vajrayana tradition. She passed away while surrounded by precious Buddhist prayers, artifacts and friends, which greatly eased her transition from life toward rebirth. She valued meditation as a skillful means to discover Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and to practice with translating Body, Speech & Mind into action.

Joan dearly loved Nature, in all its aspects; Mountains, Forests, Fields, Streams, Ocean, and especially, Birds of the Sky. She freely supported causes dedicated to conservation and preservation of the natural world.

She strongly supported the cause of Social Justice and helped people through giving to various charities, as well as issues including Water Supply protection and Public Parks.

Joan was a believer in World Peace, and often participated in the political process to make her values known. She also gave tangible assistance to worthwhile organizations to help people of Tibetan culture.

The people Joan loved most were her family and friends, which were many, because she made friends easily and often. She was a member of a number of circles, both formal and informal, which discussed and advocated good will. Her extended family included in-laws, outlaws and special persons, including a large Russian immigrant family she loved.

Music was important to Joan and she loved opera, theater, and meditative music best.

Joan lived for adventure and having memorable experiences! Outdoors, she enjoyed hiking the best, followed by van camping, backpacking, kayaking and cross-country skiing. She was a Taurus Earth Mother and liked being that! She was a member of Sierra Club, CA AlpineClub, Mountaineers, Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Whatcom Land Trust, WAKE, Nooksack Nordics, Mt Baker Hiking Club and others.

She was an avid traveler, constantly seeking new places to visit and explore. Her travels extended through Southeast Asia, Nepal, India, Europe, Scotland, Ireland, Central America, Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Russia.

Joan was naturally smart, but continued to love learning and read prolifically on religious themes, popular books, NYT Editorials, New Yorker, health, and food. All-Life-Learning was a frequent pursuit, in particular the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco.

Joan was a Feminist, and cared about the special roles that women play, and their growing roles into the modern day and beyond. She was strongly independent in her thinking, and comfortable in her own skin, but also valued the opinions of others. As a single woman for 49 years, she excelled at computer programming, using intense focus and intuitive skills to determine solutions to problems. She and two friends made their way to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1965, where she made it her home until moving to Bellingham, WA in 1990, the year she married for the first time. She was proud of the fact that she was able to secure a loan in 1978 for the purchase of a small Victorian house in the Glen Park Neighborhood of San Francisco, a place she made a Home, and continued to own and remodel until her death. She loved all her neighborhoods and frequently was involved in gatherings - her specialty!

Joan enjoyed ‘pinking and fluffing’ in a hot shower every day, and was the willing recipient of many nicknames assigned by her husband. Most of these contained reference to the word ‘Dee’, as in ‘Bird-a Dee’ and the like. Her look of love she called ‘Beaming Radiant Dee-ness’!

Joan loved Food! She cooked, endlessly reviewed recipes, and ate with gusto - whether at home, dining out, or with groups of friends. But, she had to be careful with food because of a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts in general. 

Joan had a bit of a clothes fetish, enjoying the search for comfortable, yet classy looks. Most of the time she wore outdoor wear, like hiking shorts, T-shirts, fanny pack, rain gear and the like. But, she ‘cleaned up’ nicely - as the Irish say - and felt at ease in almost any setting. In short, she was a ‘Class Act’!

She became an Apple nut, when introduced to iMac, PowerMac, iPad and iPhone. Though opting not to become a ‘techie’, she enjoyed using these electronic tools as a means of keeping up with news, contacting her friends and generally having a good time on the Amazon site and other Internet venues.

Joan seemed to have boundless energy, even when challenged by various physical ailments. Nothing seemed to slow her down for very long, although she also liked relaxation, too - when she had time for it. 

But, the main memory of Joan has to be her innate honesty, strength of character, clean-cut features, her outspokenness, bright smile and absolute love of laughter and joy. What a wonderful, loving spirit she was! A lasting legacy for such a beautiful human being can only be inadequately described….