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Joanna B. Block

Los Angeles, CA, 1920 - 2014

Joanna B. Block died July 8, 2014, with the same grace that she lived her 93 and 3/4 years. Joanna was born Nov. 13, 1920 in Herrin, Illinois, the youngest daughter of Dr. John Curtis Black and Maude Oliver Black of Corning, Arkansas. Her father practiced medicine in hospitals operated by the United Mine Workers in southern Illinois until declining health forced him to retire with his family to Bradenton, Florida.
Joanna graduated from Manatee High School in 1938, and, after a year at Shorter College, entered the University of Arkansas. Here she excelled in her studies, joined the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and met a charming young man from Wynne, Arkansas, who would become her husband in 1944. As the wife of a Navy officer, Joanna moved first to Greenwich, Rhode Island, and then to San Francisco and San Diego. Then with World War II won and her husband mustered out of the Navy, Joanna and David Block Jr. along with their six-week-old son, returned to Wynne.
Here the Blocks added to their family with the birth of Ann Oliver in 1948 and Paula Mary four years later. Joanna and David raised their children and lived their lives in an arrangement typical of the times; husband as breadwinner, wife as everything else. Joanna thrived as mother, homemaker, volunteer par excellence, and part of a circle of friends that partied, traveled, and enjoyed life together.
With her husband's death in 1993, Joanna bravely left behind the comfortable routines of half a century. She moved, first to Denver, Colorado, and then to Los Angeles where, with the loving care of her Angelina daughters, she lived the last 11 years of her life.
Joanna is survived by her son, David III, his wife, Peggy Robinson, and their children, Rob and Maggie; her daughters, Anne Block and her wife, Wendy Dallas, and Paula Block-Levor, her husband, Bob Levor, and their son, Sam; and by a sister, Mary O. Damitz.
Joanna Block made good use of her time on earth. She was firm in her beliefs, true to her friends, and generous with her resources. As long as we live, she will live.
A memorial service will be held October 18th at the First United Methodist Church in Wynne, beginning at 11 a.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers those wishing to honor Joanna's memory consider making a donation to the Cross County Library, on whose board she served for twenty years: c/o John Paul Myrick, 410 Merriman Ave., Wynne, Ark. 72396.

Published July 16, 2014