JoAnne Elaine (Castro) Dommeyer of Santa Ynez Valley received her Golden Wings when she passed away on February 8, 2019, at the St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital. She is now set free to dance in Heaven, and has been reunited with her beloved husband.
JoAnne was born on August 3, 1953, to Eleanor and Fred Castro .She was raised with her six brothers in a lively and love filled household in Carpinteria, CA. Growing up by the beach, JoAnne had a special and deep connection with the ocean. In her time at Carpinteria High School, JoAnne was a song leader, participated in drama, and became involved with the Chicano Student Rights Movement; she was the president of M.E.C.H.A. and a proud member of the Jr. Brown Berets. She graduated from Carpinteria High School in 1971, and shortly after married her high school sweetheart, Donald J. Dommeyer.
JoAnne was a loving and devoted wife. She and Don moved to North Carolina, where Don was stationed in the army. They returned to live in Summerland, and eventually moved to the Santa Ynez Valley, to raise their family on a little slice of heaven in Los Olivos.
JoAnne found great joy in being of service to others. She poured love into delicious home-cooked meals that she often made for family and friends. If there were ever a friend in need, JoAnne and Don would open their home, offering a bite to eat, love, care, and a place to stay. JoAnne often said that she wanted her home to be like a lighthouse, shining light to those in need.
One of JoAnne's favorite pastimes was playing slow-pitch softball. She spent many years on a softball field developing deep connections with her teammates. The slow-pitch softball community was more like a village of people that helped raise and shape her family. Some of her closest and dearest friends were her teammates. JoAnne was an outstanding pitcher and known for remaining calm under pressure. She had a grace about her and kept her cool in the toughest situations. She shared a love for the sport that was passed down to her five children; she took her skills and applied it to coach her children's sports teams. She was loved by all the players whose lives she touched. She coached T-ball, middle school and high school softball, AYSO soccer, volleyball, cheerleading, and was involved with Girl Scouts.
JoAnne loved the Lord with all her heart, she had an unwavering faith that fueled her soul during her most difficult times. For many years she was a member of the Santa Ynez Foursquare Church serving as a Deacon. She played the bongos on the worship team, hosted Bible studies, and prayer nights. JoAnne showed her creative side through her paintings, cards, and poetry writing. She filled journals with her insights, songs, and wisdom. She was the go-to sign maker for many community events.
Her can-do attitude, punny humor, gentle softness, and empathetic understanding made her a lovely, beaming light within the community and beyond. As a mother and grandmother, she was patient, caring, loving, and kind beyond words. She prided herself in leading by example and had a way about her that encouraged others to learn, grow, and become the best version of themselves.
In 2008, she was diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson's disease, called Multiple Systems Atrophy. For years JoAnne remained cared for in her home; although her body fell into severe decline, her mind, heart, and faith stayed strong. JoAnne was eventually admitted to Sub Acute care, where she lived out the rest of her days. During that time, she enjoyed holiday trips to Carpinteria, the occasional trip to the beach, and found joy in hearing stories about the lives of her family and friends. JoAnne continued to show an unparalleled strength and positivity, that shone through her existence like rays of sunshine; full of faith that the Lord was always with her and using her in his plan.
JoAnne is survived by her five children Denicia, Erika, Bobby, Caydi and Christiana Dommeyer; her three grandchildren Anthony, Mikey and Sydney Gills; her six brothers Louie, Eddie and Bobby Calderon, Danny, Freddy and Abel Castro.
Friends and family that would like to gather for a Celebration of Life, please join the family on Saturday, March 23 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church, 1825 Alamo Pintado Rd, Solvang.