Joanne Marie Gilroy |

Joanne Marie Gilroy

Joanne Marie Gilroy (March 9, 1946 – April 26, 2015) passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes. A well known and loved fixture in the community, Joanne embraced Steamboat as her home in 1973 after living far and wide across the country and world. She was born into a military family, the daughter of John Gilroy (Commanding Officer of the 110th Aviation Battalion) and Rosemarie Gilroy (1st Lieutenant of The Army Nurse Corps), where Joanne traveled to Kitzingen Germany, Verona Italy, Austin Texas and many places in between. Even with all the travel, Joanne identified as an original “valley girl” as her roots were grown in Los Angeles, California where she and all 3 of her siblings were born and where the family called “home.”

Joanne was well-known and recognized by her outgoing nature. She was always happy to strike up a conversation with old friends and new friends alike. She was omnipresent at community events; if there was a concert at Howelson, a dance performance at Perry Mansfield, or a youth sporting game chances were good Joanne would be there with a warm smile on her face, taking it all in and supporting her community.

Her work and strong sense of service led her to meet even more of the people that make this town such a great community. Many of the area’s deepest and most meaningful friendships go all the way back to her days as part of a ragtag band of misfits working at the Cantina in the 1970’s. Then on to her dedicated years at the ski area, Lowell-Whiteman School, and the District Attorney’s office where Joanne forged sincere relationships and contributed greatly. Her compassion and deep humanity was a gift to those she connected with volunteering at such recent places as Steamboat Art Museum and Christian Heritage School.

The example she set by living her life as if every day was a gift of beauty and gratitude, Joanne is still leading the way. She lived the life she wanted, no kidding, full of unblemished truths and few compromises. She is survived by her loving daughter Emilia Gilroy-Sander of Portland, OR, her brother John Gilroy of Lincoln, NE and her sister Kathleen Small of San Antonio, TX.

A celebration of her beautiful life will be held at Bud Werner Memorial Library on Saturday, May 16 from 2-5 pm. Some snacks and drinks will be provided, and you are welcome to bring an appetizer or dessert to share (Joanne loved dessert and sharing food!). Flowers and gifts can be sent to the Yampa Valley Funeral home, or in lieu of flowers we request a donation be made in Joanne’s name to the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

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