Joann D. Eldridge, 81, passed away in the early morning hours on January 26, 2021 of Merkel Cell Carcinoma. She leaves behind her life partner of 38 years, Ruth Ostenson, and her beloved Ragdoll kitty, Luna.
Joann was born on August 31, 1939 in Milford, to Joe and Ethel Eldridge. She spent her early years in Worcester, until her parents moved to the Sagamore/Buzzard’s Bay area. Joann attended Bourne Grammar School and Bourne High School, graduating in 1957. She often traveled with her father up and down the East Coast waterways, as he was a sports fisherman. Because of his tutelage, Joann entered a state-wide fishing contest at age10 and won first prize, traveling to the Massachusetts State House to receive her award.
Joann graduated from Quinsigamond Community College in 1968 and from Worcester State College in 1970 with a B.A. in English. She had a love of literature and received her M.A. in English from Assumption College in 1972. She spent 30 years at Doherty High School in Worcester where she taught Advanced Placement English, coordinated drama shows, and was advisor to the Literary Magazine. Several of her former students have remained in touch and have commented on how influential she was in their lives. She also taught part-time at several of the colleges in the Worcester area specializing in Women in Literature and Writing Skills.
While at Doherty High School, Joann started the first computer lab in the English Department. Subsequently, she orchestrated the donation of over 400 computers to the school so that every department had its own computer lab. She was well ahead of her time as she became an expert in the integration of curriculum and technology in the early 1990s. When she retired, she was a technology consultant to the Worcester School Department where she created the position of Legacy Teacher. She was also a consultant to the Provincetown School System assisting many individual teachers and administrators in the integration of curriculum and technology. In addition, she had a small business, Damn Good Sites, creating websites for various organizations.
Joann had a great ability to reinvent herself as she was a very successful teacher of English, a technology consultant, a web “mistress”, and a very creative and successful photographer and digital artist. She was a member and officer of Cape Cod Viewfinders where she honed her skills and achieved the level of Master Photographer. She was also a member of the Cape Cod Art Center’s Digital Art Group. She entered many local, national, and international photography contests and won many awards.
She loved living on Cape Cod and Blackfish Creek, being close to the ocean and beautiful beaches, and enjoying spectacular sunsets. She also loved spending winters in Key West, Florida. Joann had a very quick sense of humor and always enjoyed many close relationships. She will be missed by the many, many friends she acquired over the years.
Donations in her name may be made to the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter, 5 Sandy Hill Ln., Provincetown, MA 02657, WCAI (Cape and Islands NPR station), PO Box 82, Woods Hole, MA 02543, Helping our Women, 34 Conwell St, Provincetown, MA 02657 or Wellfleet Preservation Hall, 335 Main St, Wellfleet, MA 02667.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Joann’s life will be held at a later date when Covid restrictions have lessened.