JoAnn passed away at home surrounded by family and friends. She was 81 years old.
Born in Turlock, California at the old Emanuel Hospital on Canal Drive to Albert and Josephine Ferrari, she was the oldest of three children (brother, John and sister, Gail).
She was raised in the small farming community of Ballico where she attended Ballico Grammar School followed by Livingston High School. She was a cheerleader and Homecoming Queen.
After high school she continued her education at Modesto Junior College where she met the love of her life, Victor DiGiovanni. He was a basketball player from NYC, and she was a cheerleader. After MJC, JoAnn enrolled at Fresno State University. After only one term at FSU she transferred and followed Vic to Cal Poly SLO. JoAnn and Vic were married for 55 years until Vic’s passing in 2015.
In 1964 they welcomed their only child, Darrell, to their family. They raised Darrell in Pleasant Hill and Lafayette. JoAnn devoted her career to education.
She taught for 35 years at the elementary school level, primarily the 2nd grade. In 1996 JoAnn retired from teaching and returned to her roots, living the remaining years of her life in Turlock. Her retirement was hastened by the move of Darrell and his family to Turlock. It was a source of great pride that her son chose to join the family’s farming business.
She and Vic lived less than a mile from Darrell’s family; Michelle (daughter-in-law), Mia and Gianna (granddaughters). Michelle was like the daughter she never had, often calling her an angel for the way she cared for her during her illness. She was most proud of Mia and Gianna. She treasured being able to watch them grow up and being able to attend countless activities/sporting events during their childhood. A highlight was watching them both graduate from college and graduate school this past May.
While in retirement, JoAnn volunteered at Sacred Heart School putting her teaching experience to work and continuing to touch young people’s lives. She also dedicated her time serving on the advisory board at The Salvation Army. JoAnn’s love of college basketball continued her whole life. She was a devoted fan of Duke basketball. JoAnn loved life and was a true friend to many.
Our family would like to thank Provident Home Care of Modesto and Covenant Care Hospice of Turlock for their professional and compassionate care for JoAnn and her family.
Memorial contributions can be made to Sacred Heart School Foundation for tuition assistance, PO Box 1254, Turlock, CA 95381 or The Salvation Army, PO Box 3576, Turlock, CA 95381.
Viewing is scheduled for Wed. Nov. 27th 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. Mass will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Fri. Nov. 29th at Sacred Heart Church, 1200 Lyons Ave., Turlock. Interment will follow at Turlock Memorial Park.