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Joanna Helen Wicke

January 1, 1977 September 23, 2011
Joanna Helen Wicke
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Obituary for Joanna Helen Wicke

JOANNA HELEN WICKE, age 34, was born in Torrance, California, on January 1, 1977. A year later our family moved to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where Joanna and her older sister Christy attended Bloomfield Hills public schools. Christy graduated from Andover High School in 1991 and Joanna in 1995.

An animal lover all her life, Joanna adored her cats Seymour and Sully and her parakeet Tango, but she especially loved horses and ponies. In 1991 Joanna found �Shetland ponies for sale� in the want ads, and our family bought two palomino ponies which we gave to the Bloomfield Hills School Farm. Joanna named them Tinkerbell and Pixie Dust, and Tinkerbell�s foal (a surprise bonus) Magic. Joanna created and taught with her mother, Blanche an afterschool and summer class for children called Love-a-Pony, where Joanna shared her love and knowledge of ponies. For seven wonderful years Joanna was with her ponies almost every day. The pony class continues, 19 years later.

Although Joanna was born with medical issues and had several surgeries, including spinal fusions, it was in March 1998 that Joanna suffered respiratory failure and ended up with a tracheotomy and on a ventilator at night. Four years later her legs stopped supporting her due to a spinal compression, and she has been in bed on a ventilator full time for the last nine years, but she has connected with friends around the world with her computer. (Her father Brian built a stand so that she could use the computer lying down.) She also has many local friends who visit, including her ponies who come into the house, down the hall, and stand at her bedside for her to love. Occasionally, she has been able to venture to the School Farm to see her ponies and the horses.
Joanna�s gentle spirit and cheerful outlook have brought joy to all. A special friend has been Jane Seymour, who has come to visit several times and invited Joanna to her movie sets. Joanna has every episode of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman memorized, and when Jane was on Dancing With The Stars, Joanna became an avid fan of her partner Tony Dovolani. Joanna ran a fan website for Tony and this year for Karina Smirnoff, and she was privileged to meet Karina this summer. Joanna�s last evening was spent happily watching a video of this season�s first Dancing With The Stars, where Tony and Karina tied for first place with the judges. The next morning September 23rd, Joanna died peacefully in our arms at home.

We were able to donate Joanna�s corneas. We hope that whoever receives them will look out with the same love and see the same love that surrounded Joanna.

We give thanks to the Lord for the gift of sharing Joanna�s life. We will miss her terribly, but she will always be in our hearts.

Joanna is survived by her devoted parents, Blanche and Brian, and loving sister, Christy (Jim Jackson) Wicke.

A Memorial Service will be announced at a later date.

Memorials appreciated to any animal charity of donor�s choice.

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