Cover photo for Joanne Gross Whipple's Obituary
Joanne Gross Whipple Profile Photo
1943 Joanne 2019

Joanne Gross Whipple

1943 — December 14, 2019

Joanne Gross Whipple passed away on Saturday, December 14, 2019 after a valiant struggle with cancer.  Joanne was the daughter of Frederick and Grace Gross of Rotterdam.  She was born in Bronx, NYC, NY on June 23, 1943 and moved upstate when she was school age to attend various schools in the capital district, graduating from Mohonasen High School in 1961.

Joanne leaves behind a husband, John (Jack) Whipple, a son, James Lockman of Delmar and a daughter, Jennifer Connors of Mason, OH.  She is also survived by three granddaughters, Jordan Lockman of Charleston, SC and Kaylie and Samantha Connors of Mason, OH, in addition to a sister, Judith Andrew of Bellingham, MA; two sisters-in-law, Joanne Whipple of Arvada, CO and Joyce Pike of Colorado Springs, CO; and several nieces, great nieces and nephews.

Joanne attended UAlbany where she received her undergraduate degree and two graduate degrees.  She also attended St. Rose and the University of Arizona for additional graduate work.  In 1963, Joanne was named Albany’s Tulip Queen.  In 1966, Joanne joined the Guilderland School District as a Speech and Language Pathologist.  She remained a staff member at Guilderland, working with children in all schools in regular and special education. She spent 13 years as a Pupil Personnel advocate for special education students and then served four years as Principal of Westmere Elementary School prior to her retirement in 2003.  Her love of children and the pursuit of innovative educational programs using a team model was paramount to her career in education.

Joanne’s greatest love was her family.  Despite many separations due to military service and family moves away from the capital district, they always found time to gather for important occasions, and especially loved their “second home” on Cape Cod where they spent 23 years during summers and “off season” as well.  A second “calling” every year was their respite in St. Thomas where Joanne and Jack spent 16 winters embracing the “road people” and were never discouraged by the length of a drive to reach friends or family for a celebration or visit.  This sprinkled with trips to more “exotic” locations found them exploring the world in their retirement.

Joanne had a love of reading, art and music of all genres in addition to all outdoor activities.  She and Jack especially enjoyed their trips to Colorado where they reconnected with family and hiked in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  She was an avid gardener and found great satisfaction “digging in the dirt” and watching things grow.  She was also a lover of Broadway musicals and plays which she thoroughly enjoyed with her husband and friends over many years.  Joanne and Jack are so very grateful for the special friendships and support over the years, and most recently, during her final and challenging months.

There will be a celebration of Joanne’s life at Delmar Presbyterian Church, 585 Delaware Ave., Delmar on Satruday, December 21 at 12 noon.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joanne Gross Whipple, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Delmar Presbyterian Church

585 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054

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