Joanne Weaver Stroh, formerly of Abington and Upper Dublin, died on February 23, 2013 at the Ann’s Choice Retirement Community in Warminster. She is survived by her husband Rudolph W. Stroh, Jr., her children Dr. Karen Weaver (Carol), Mark Weaver (Lori), and Laurie Weaver Plum (Matt), and her grandchildren Jamieson, Robbie, and Bradley. Joanne was 82.
She is also survived by her husband’s children Rudy and Linda and her husband’s grandchildren, Chris, Kenneth, Joseph, and Beatrice. She was married for 18 years to Robert E. Weaver. She was predeceased by her sister Sarah Jane Still and is survived by Sarah’s children Deborah and Susan as well as Sarah’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren Sarah, Chris, Kenneth, Noah, Jake, Andrew, Jillian, Caralyn, Abigail, and Kenny.
Joanne was born to Kenneth and Jean Mateer and spent her first years living in Central Pennsylvania before her family settled in Paoli. She was a graduate of Tredyffrin-Easttown High School in Chester County, where she was an athlete and student leader. She attended the University of Pennsylvania on a Pennsylvania State Senate academic scholarship. At Penn, she worked to pay for her living expenses while also serving as editor of the yearbook and a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority.
She graduated from Penn in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in Education. In 1968, she earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Temple University and in 1980 earned a Principal’s Certificate from Penn.
Joanne spent her entire career as an educator, first serving as a teacher in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Locally, she taught reading at the Overlook Elementary School, taught fourth grade at Ardsley Elementary School, and planned the curriculum for the North Hills Elementary School, all in the Abington School District. Her work as an educator touched tens of thousands of lives.
In 1973, she became Abington School District’s first Human Relations Coordinator, where she developed programs that helped teachers, students, parents, and citizens learn to peacefully co-exist despite differences. During that time, she was the founder and first Chairperson of the Abington Township Community Relations Commission, a volunteer position she held for more than three decades. She was also one of the original founders of the Abington Police Athletic League and Abington’s D.A.R.E. program.
In these roles, Joanne was responsible for helping to resolve countless neighborhood disputes, instances of alleged discrimination, and, in at least one case, a potential race riot. The Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission later honored her for that work.
From 1980 to 1988 she was the Principal of the Rydal Elementary School, helping that school earn state and national honors for excellence. Near the end of her career, she was the Principal of the Willow Hill Elementary School, where she became a positive force in that community and in the lives of many local families. She retired from Abington School District in 1996 after 40 years of service as an educator.
In 1997, the United States House of Representatives honored Joanne by passing a resolution detailing and lauding her professional achievements and community leadership.
In retirement, Joanne enjoyed visiting Maui with her husband and also loved to spend time with her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, to whom she was a shining beacon of inspiration and foundation of support. Even as age began to slow her, she remained active as a community leader, helping to start Abington’s chapter of “No Place for Hate,” assisting Abington Police with community challenges, and serving on volunteer boards at Ann’s Choice.
She was honored with numerous awards from the Anti-Defamation League, the Willow Grove chapter of the NAACP and the Abington Township Commissioners.
Joanne loved to dance, sing, and read. Whenever she could, she would spend time in Ocean City, New Jersey. She was a faithful fan of Philadelphia sports teams, especially the Phillies.
Joanne was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown and had previously been ordained as an Elder and a Stephen Minister in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Because of her deep love of all animals and especially cats, friends and family are asked to make a memorial contribution to the Montgomery County SPCA (www.MontgomeryCountySPCA.org) in lieu of sending flowers. Memorial donations may also be made to the Ann's Choice Benevolent Fund 30000 Ann’s Choice Way, Warminster, PA 18974.