Joanne was born in Newark N.Y. to her parents Rev. Bertram Dallmann and Lillian Morgan Dallmann.
She had three siblings: older brother William, older sister Barbara (died at birth), and younger brother David. Joanne’s family first moved to Fair Oaks, California in 1939 as her father was starting a new Lutheran church (Faith Lutheran) by literally walking door to door to invite parishioners. In 1942 they again moved; this time to Baltimore Maryland as her father joined the Navy as a Chaplain. Although he was shipped out to sea in the South Pacific, Baltimore was his home base. Pastor Dallmann was compelled to reenlist as he knew the soldiers needed spiritual guidance during the war. In the meantime, Joanne’s mother decided to move the family to Mather Field CA in 1945 so she, (her mother), could work at the base until Joanne’s father could reunite with them.
In February, 1947 the family moved again; this time to San Francisco CA where her father received a call to Christ Church Lutheran. After 50 years of ministry Pastor Dallmann retired.
While attending Christ Church, Joanne met the love of her life Walter McRae whose family also attended church there. When Walt returned in 1951 from his enlistment in the Marines, they married.
Joanne and Walt first lived in the Richmond District of S.F. paying the high rent of $55 a month. Joanne worked as a bookkeeper for Bank of America and Walt took over as owner from his step-father’s business at Early American Paint & Varnish Company. (Walt’s father died when Walt was only 14 years old.)
They wanted to start a family so they purchased a home in South San Francisco for $12,950. They took in a foster child Bobby who to their devastation, was later given back to his biological mother. Bonnie Lynn (Lawler) was their first child, followed by Sandra Lee (Ford), and Laurie Ann (McRae-Hertzberg). Shortly after Laurie was born they moved to a larger house in San Bruno. Nine years later their fourth daughter Julie (McRae-Cranston) was born. Joanne was a ‘stay-at-home’ mother. She is quoted as saying, “All of them were joys to behold!”
In 1973 Joanne was asked to join a “Parents Who Care” group. From there she became a Facilitator for Stanford’s “Decide Program”. This lead to another position through a Federal Grant where she was part of an “improvisational theatre group”. All of these positions focused on early childhood education to encourage kids to stay away from drugs. Joanne’s girls teased their mother as she could be frequently found with “drug paraphilia” in the back of her car. These were of course used to educate the students but the girls always got a kick that their mother was toting around ‘stash’.
In 1985, Joanne had the distinguished honor of being asked by the Superior Court Judge to become a Commissioner of the Juvenile Justice Probation Department; and in 1990 she accepted their Chairperson role. These dedicated years of service proved to be a major highlight in Joanne’s life.
During this same period of time Joanne also worked part-time with Walt at Early American Paint helping his full-time bookkeeper.
By then, most of the girls had moved out of the Bay Area up to the Sacramento Region. In 1993 Joanne and Walt purchased a home in Folsom to be closer to them. For two additional years Walt still worked during the week at his company and commuted home on weekends. In 1995 he sold his business and retired. The couple enjoyed visiting and traveling with their friends both home and abroad. Joanne also participated in the Folsom New Comer’s group. Both were very active at their church in Citrus Heights: Lutheran Church of The Ascension. They played a significant role in the design elements and project management of the church’s major expansion of building their new sanctuary.
In October, 2013 Joanne made the decision to move from her home in Folsom to Oakmont of Roseville which assisted with her care.
Joanne is survived by her four daughters, three son-in-law’s, 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 12th at 11:00 a.m. at Lutheran Church of The Ascension (7607 Garden Gate Drive, Citrus Heights, CA).
Memorials may be made in her memory to Lutheran Church of The Ascension, Hospice, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
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