JoAnn was born April 19, 1938 in Roseburg OR to Dale and Irene (Wandling) Busenbark. The family included sisters Dalene Withycombe (Richard), Ginger Humphreys (Leland), and Leta Dudley (Junior). She was raised on the Busenbark Ranch and never lost her love for farm life!
JoAnn graduated from Oregon State University with a B.A. and from the University of Arizona with an M.A. She moved to Napa fifty years ago and quickly became an integral part of the community. She served nine years on the Planning Commission for the City and nine years on the City Council always advocating for special populations.
JoAnn spent over thirty years developing and administering programs and services for students and staff with disabilities at Napa Valley College, including off-campus programs at Napa State Hospital and Brown Street Activity Center. After retirement, she continued to work on behalf of the greater community by serving on the NVC Board of Trustees and the City’s Senior Center Board, the County Commission on Aging, the Area Agency on Aging, the Napa TV Board of Directors, the Rianda House Board and the Paratransit Coordinating Council.
In her spare time, JoAnn was an avid fan of and participant in Mah Jongg, Bridge and Poker.
JoAnn is survived by sisters Dalene and Leta, and by her longtime friend Beverly Wirtz and god-children, Falina, Peter, Daniel and Nathan. She was their “Bubby”. She dearly loved her extended family including nieces and nephews Lynne and Jeff, Jeff & Patti, Mary & Kevin; Carol & Darrell, Mark & Janet; and James, Matt and Jennifer. She was proud of her grand-nieces and nephews Andy, Audrey & Mike; Richie & Audrey, Kathlene, Jaeden, Katie; Seth, Kyle; Garret, Will and Sean. Great grand-nieces and nephews included Avery, Max, Jase; River; Emaline and Oliver. She left behind many close friends and colleagues; too many to name without missing a few.
She left a legacy of good works many of which were dedicated to the growing numbers of seniors whose basic needs she felt might be in jeopardy.
JoAnn’s ashes will be interred in the Busenbark family plot in Roseburg, OR. A celebration of JoAnn’s life will be held in Napa at a later date.