Joan Marie Galbi

Date of birth: July 24 1939

Date of death: June 18 2019

On Tuesday, June 18th, Joan Marie Galbi passed away with family at her side. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York and was married to Elmer for 58 wonderful years. They raised their family in Endwell, New York, and lived the last 30 years in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Joan was passionate about art, cheese-making, hiking, and politics. Her love of people was shown through her teaching both as a high-school and community college math teacher. After retiring as a teacher at Portland Community College she continued taking classes there in print-making, calligraphy, and painting. One of Joan's paintings hangs prominently in the Portland Community College main library. Her award-winning cheeses were widely admired and often quickly devoured by her sons if they were in town. Joan always thought about others before herself. She was a fun-filled and super-energetic person who brought this spirit to all her endeavors. She will be greatly missed.

She was preceded in death by her parents Victorine and Aziz Gorra, her sister Marie, and her brothers-in-law Nicholas, Vincent, and Joseph. She is survived by her beloved husband Elmer, her four sons David, Douglas, Duane (Karen), and Dwight (Tamara), her brother George (Leilla), her five sisters Frieda, Lorraine, her twin Claire (George), Renee, and Vivienne, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

A celebration of her life will be held on August 3rd, 2019 at the World Forestry Center at 11:00am. Additional details can be found on the website

One of Joan's favorite charities was "Friends of the Columbia Gorge".

A Tribute to Mom

“Have you had lunch yet?” Such a simple, common question. It’s heard frequently, and it’s usually accompanied by a simple answer and then forgotten as part of everyday life. Yet when those words are the first words to come from someone battling to survive, upon seeing one of her sons who she loved so dearly, it goes to the very essence of that person’s personality.

Mom was always thinking about others, especially when it came to her four “boys”. Yes, her “boys”. Never mind that these “boys” were all over half a century old, long having flown mom’s nest and scattered across the edges of the U.S., far from her. They would always be her boys, and as their mom she would never stop being a mom to them. She always wanted to make sure they were doing the right thing, regardless of whether they listened to her or not - and often I didn’t. Mom didn’t require in return anything, although she loved nothing better than to hear her son's voice on the phone or see a son or all of them in person.

“It’s been so long that I’ve heard from you.” Never mind if you had just called last week, to mom it was always too long ago, because she needed to make sure her boys were doing ok, and she wanted to share always in the joys of their lives. Most of all, she wanted to make sure they were eating right, sleeping enough, not overworking themselves, and not getting stressed out. Nothing seemed to make mom happier than hearing from her boys and hearing that they were indeed getting the proper balance in life.

Life is fleeting, but so often one doesn’t realize that fully until one you hold so near and dear to you departs this world. As one of her four boys, I’m only starting to realize now how deeply I loved mom and how much she meant to me. I indeed should have called her more, listened to her more, and given her more love in return for all she gave to me.

So yes mom, I had lunch, and of course mom I wasn’t going to tell you it consisted of a soda and some pretzels, but I know now I can tell you that and you’ll forgive me as you always have for anything bad I’ve done. I can’t directly call you anymore, but you’ll always have a direct line to my heart. One day, so long as I can follow your wisdom more often, I hope to see you again and enter your new world of everlasting peace.

We all speak with one voice through Dwight's tribute to our mom.

11 tribute candles have been lit

Candle lit by Douglas Galbi For it is in giving -- I have kept all the years of her hand-made Christmas cards -- that we receive -- and always read all the Christmas cards from many friends that kept in touch with her across decades. All her friends had a true and caring friend, an incredible woman, a dearly beloved mom. It is in pardoning -- she never held a grudge, but could get into stupid fights -- that we are pardoned -- forgive me mom for the times when I did not honor you, when I was unkind to you. And it is dying that we are born to external life. How long, God, how long?

Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.

Candle lit by Vivienne Gorra I've always dreaded this moment that I would lose another sister, Joan. But I suppose I've always known such a day would come. The day when my heart feels like it is breaking over such a lost of sister. Frankly I do not pretend to understand the mysteries of life nor death. But I do understand the passing of time, and the inability to reverse the string of events that we are now facing at this moment. My mind tells me to be relieved for you, that you are in a far better place: a place without fear and pain. A place of eternal calmness and happiness. You left us as you had lived : a life of courage, strength and compassion. You loved wholeheartedly and in turn you were loved unconditionally. As French say: ”Tu me manques” which means “You are missing from me.” And now much older, much wiser, I am just beginning to realize its full meaning. But what I do know is I love you, Joan, sorry I never said or demonstrated it enough!

Candle lit by Joanne & Gunnar Sedleniek Joan will forever live in our memories as an avid hiker, a passionate gardener, cheese maker, expert cook, but most of all as a very good friend. We’ll all miss your always welcoming smile.

Candle lit by Joan and Juergen Kritschgau We received the news of Joan’s passing with very heavy hearts. How lucky we are, to have had Joan as a friend! She infused every get -together with her passionate spirit; conversation was always entertaining and meaningful, as she shared her views, philosophy and wisdom on life and times. What a treat to be a guest at Joan and Elmer’s table enjoying homemade bread, cheese, dried persimmons, and mushrooms we had never heard of, to name just a few of the delicacies! Joan gave gifts that keep giving, like mentoring Juergen through the art and science of baking breads. Dear Joan, we thank you for being such a wonderful friend, and honor your lovely spirit, which we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. Love, Joan and Juergen

Candle lit by Frieda Gorra Dearest Joan: My heart is aching and my eyes are full of tears, knowing that I will never receive the welcomed flood of phone calls again regarding our lively chats on an array of recipes and decorating tips, and now in hindsight I should have let you discuss politics- you were so passionate about and yet you honored our pact. You will always be in my daily thoughts. To my wonderful, talented sister...Goodbye. Rest In Peace. God Bless You! With Love, Frieda

Candle lit by Nicole Howe I had the pleasure of doing Joans hair for many years. I was happy when I saw her name on my schedule. Joan always had a big smile, inspiring thoughts and wise words. She always came with some delicious treat. Joans bread, jam and recently zucchini relish were all amazing. I will miss her. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Candle lit by Maureen Leppard Schroeder Thank you for sharing J0an ‘s beautiful life of love and dedication to her family and art and all creation , It made me so happy I hope I won’t waste any coin .

Candle lit by Steven Schiewe I was able to share the printmaking studio with Joan at PCC. She was such a pleasure to be around and will be dearly missed. Her art and mind were an inspiration to us.

Candle lit by Mary Fenton Joan an accomplished Renaissance woman! It, however, will not be the accomplishments that we will remember you by but the love, enthusiasm, and joy you brought to them and those around you. My neighbor, my friend, my sister of the heart I will miss our enthusiastic conversations and joy when ever we visited each other. It was as if not a moment passed between each visit. The earth moves a little slower without your boundless energy! I will miss you!

Candle lit by Tatiana Gebert What a joy Joan was to be around. Her laughter and smile were simply infectious. She felt instantly like an old friend (maybe because we were both New Yorkers, loved calligraphy, loved printmaking....), even though I was just beginning to know her. A bundle of her calligraphy pens came my way. I have marked the container "Joanie's Pens." They will be cherished, as precious as that incandescent smile.