My beautiful wife, Joanne Marie Barbine, of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, peacefully passed into heaven surrounded by her loving family on Friday, March 10, 2023, at 62 years old. Joanne is survived by her husband George; her children George, Marianne Loheide (Matthew), and Jennifer Mulato (Raymond); her grandchildren Raymond, Nathan, Annabella, Carter, and Victoria; her sisters Kathleen and Annemarie; her aunt, Grace Dodds; and her brothers, Joey Barbine and David Grimes. She was preceded in death by her parents, David E. Grimes and Anne M. Grimes; her sister, Judy Innamorato; and her brother, Steven P. Grimes. Friends and relatives may visit at Tussey Mosher Funeral Home, 139 Main Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, on March 18, 2023, from 9:30am-11:30am, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 47 Central Avenue, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, at 12:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joanne's name to the Wellsboro Firemen's Ambulance Association, the Wellsboro Fire Department, or St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
If asked to describe Joanne using a single word, anyone who knew her would immediately think, "Love." Joanne personified the concept of selfless and unwavering love as she touched the lives of those who were lucky enough to meet her. Once you met Joanne, you were forever brought under the caring graces of her love. Indeed, she dedicated her life to caring for others. She was proudest of what she called her ultimate accomplishment, her three children, George, Marianne, and Jennifer, all born by the time she was 24 years old, and her five grandchildren, Raymond, Nathan, Annabella, Carter, and Victoria, and she constantly beamed with pride over their accomplishments. Raymond chose the name which all of us hold closest to our hearts, our beautiful Geeby. Our home is filled with the evidence of her love; every available surface is adorned with pictures, drawings, crafts, and even a painted carving made from a piece of sidewalk proudly exclaiming, "I love my Mom." To the Geeb, no treasure from her children or grandchildren was too small to save.
It's impossible to talk about Joanne without also talking about the lifelong love she shared with her devoted and doting husband. From the earliest moments of their childhood, Joanne loved George and he loved her back, with an intensity that simply cannot be described, only felt or witnessed. From the moment he took her to his Soph Hop, they were completely inseparable. She was his sweet girl, always and forever. Together, they shared a love of life's simple pleasures: watching and identifying birds, sharing a glass of red wine (hers with ice), picnics, and summers at Lazy River Campground. There were midnight burgers, linguine with clam sauce, and cherry danishes. Like her husband, Joanne fell in love with the Wellsboro mountains at a young age and was thrilled that she and George were able to make their home here. Geeby's gardening was legendary. She always grew the brightest blooms and the most plentiful produce, and always delighted in having to give away to others most of what she grew each year. Gardening was something Joanne loved to do with each of her grandchildren. She could always be found watering her orchids, tomato plants, and many others while gently guiding those tiny hands as she taught them her secrets.
Loving her family was Joanne's life's work. Her love notes, especially the ones she always sent in lunches for her husband and children, were legendary. Her Warm Fuzzies, rhyming poems of love and happiness, pictures that were different for each letter, and her original drawings bolstered the spirits of all of us as we faced our own lives each day. Her infectious laugh was as beautiful as her singing voice, which could frequently be heard on Sunday mornings at the campground, singing along to Cat Stevens and other favorite music. Joanne was incredibly active and involved in her children's education. She volunteered for Home and School positions, prom and after prom planning, fundraising, sports, and all extra-curricular activities for all her children. And we can't forget her love for the pets she told us all she "didn't want." Becky, Chelsea, and Fitz all did their best to ensure each of Geeby's nerves, especially her "last nerve" as she called it, received equal attention. Each of those furry family members would roll their eyes at the sight of Geeby affectionately remarking on Luna as she sat on her pillow next to Poppy. Like everyone, however, each of the pets in the family received Geeby's full and total love, and they returned it in kind.
Joanne was a caregiver, and it touched every aspect of her life. For her family, Joanne was always the rock upon which we all relied in times of adversity. She tirelessly cared for generations of our family, on both sides, from her own mother to Big Pop and Big Mom-her grandparents in law, to her own Nanny, who she loved so dearly, to her mother and father-in-law, Joe and Lois, and her beloved Aunt Grace. If there was a family member or friend who was ill or needed help, Joanne was there.
Joanne's caregiving extended from her family into her community. She expertly cared for medically dependent children when she worked for Lauren's House, where she was commended for her abilities that far exceeded the scope of her certification. She proudly attended classes with her son to become an EMT; their certification numbers were one right after the other, a fact that delighted both of them. In true Joanne fashion, she went further than her state EMT certification and passed the grueling certification process to become a Nationally Registered EMT. As a Life Member of Collingdale Fire Company #1, and later, the Collingdale Fire Company, she was elected as their Ambulance Captain for eight years, where she oversaw tens of thousands of emergency medical responses. Joanne also served as Chairwoman on numerous committees, her favorite of which was the Fire Prevention Committee. In addition to her elected titles, she earned one much more difficult to achieve: she was the "Firehouse Mom." A true patriot and supporter of the troops, she even worked with another Life Member of the fire company to collect and deliver over 1,000 pairs of wool socks, Christmas stockings, and phone cards to soldiers deployed to Iraq so they were warm, had some poignant reminders of home, and could contact their loved ones from so far away.
We cannot thank enough the Collingdale Fire Company family for the love they've all shown for the entire time Joanne gave of herself to them. Additionally, it is impossible to fully express our gratitude to the Wellsboro Firemen's Ambulance Association and the compassionate and caring staff of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital for the outstanding love and support shown to Joanne and our entire family.
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