Joan Kathryn Gooden Ebersole was born in Chicago, IL in 1931 to her parents Hildur and Gustav Gooden. She passed from this earth on February 19th, 2017 at the age of 86.
As a young teen, the family, including her sisters Myra and Genevieve, moved to the farmland of central Michigan, where Joan developed her love of nature and the outdoors. She enjoyed driving tractors, and at age 17 studied for her private pilot's license. While studying psychology at the University of Michigan, she met Jim Ebersole and fell in love. After graduating, Joan participated in a bicycle tour of Europe and then flew to Pakistan, where she met Jim and traveled throughout India. Jim and Joan were married in Chicago in 1953, then returned to India, where Jim was sales manager for Eveready Batteries. Joan and Jim lived in Madras and Calcutta where Joan embraced motherhood with the birth of her four sons Tim, Tom, Phil, and Mike. While in India, Joan had the special opportunity of working on fundraising for Mother Teresa with the American Women's Club of Calcutta.
In 1962, the family moved to Caracas, Venezuela, where they welcomed their first daughter Susie. From Caracas, they moved to Mexico City for two years, then moved back to Jim's hometown of Elkhart, Indiana. Jim's interest in international business brought the family to Brownsville, Texas, in December of 1968, where Jim was able to help start some of the first Maquiladoras. In Brownsville, Joan was blessed with her sixth child Laura.
Joan was deeply involved in the Blue Dolphin Aquatic Club, St. Joseph's Academy, and the Red Cross, receiving Volunteer of the Year Award. She was instrumental in the design and fundraising for the first girls' locker room at SJA, not long after the school started accepting girls as students. Joan also helped to establish the Brownsville Women's Crisis Center with many of her friends. After the loss of her youngest child, Laura, in 1983, she put her energy into a Real Estate career, helping many families with their relocation to Brownsville from many parts of the US and the world. Through Real Estate, Joan made many lifelong friends who have made her life full and happy, especially with regular outings to Garcia's in Matamoros.
Joan and Jim kept close to their friends from India and Associates from Union Carbide/Eveready Batteries with yearly reunions throughout the United States that brought back great memories for them.
When Jim passed away in 1993, Joan began a new chapter in her life with her new grandchildren. For the next two decades, she would make 2 or 3 trips a year to California to visit her grandchildren Keeler, Lychelle, and Mandalyn Kime (Susie and Chris Kime's children) and Ben and Sam (Phil and Eva's Children). She spent time taking her three granddaughters in Brownsville, Jasmine, Sharleena, and Caylee, to the parks and library (Tim and Sue's Children). Joan also loved exploring Mexico, visiting her sisters, and was an avid reader and crossword puzzler, which led her to be a strong supporter of the Brownsville Public Library.
Joan was someone who was passionate, had great compassion, was trustworthy, enjoyed a good laugh, and could go with the flow. She has touched many hearts in her lifetime and will be greatly missed by all, more than she ever could have imagined.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jim, her daughter, Laura, and sister, Myra.
Although flowers are beautiful, we are sure Joan would have preferred donations to the Brownsville Friends of the Library, 2600 Central Blvd., Brownsville, TX, 78520.
Her memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017 in the East Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home in Brownsville, TX.