I met Joanie Riley on the first day we all started at St. Joseph’s Hospital School ( now College) of Nursing. Of course we were all checking each other out, as these ladies would become our sisters over the next three years, and as it followed, over the next fifty-plus years.
What I saw then, and still see now, is a slender, petite lass with a sweet Irish face and a gentle demeanor, quite the contrast to tall, lanky and talkative me. In her own quiet way Joanie stood out as the girl from whom you’d seek an opinion as we all weathered the trials and travails of a difficult curriculum; her thoughtful take on situations that arose was valued by us all.
It was so wonderful to reunite with Joan in Rochester when we had our mini-reunion after fifty years! Physically she had not changed significantly, although no doubt she had evolved psychologically, as we all had.
It was devastating to read of Joan’s passing today. There is no doubt in my mind that she is waving to us from the gates of Heaven, especially to Louise, her staunchest friend, almost from that first day. RIP, Joan; you lived a loving life, which is really what our Heavenly Father asks of us most.