Aunt Joann was one of my favorite aunts. I have so many fond memories of going to her house as a kid, going out on the boat, and just sitting in the kitchen eating her great cooking. She had a fun coffee table I used to take the glass out of and pop up in between the panels and she would play with me. Along with my other aunts, she ventured down to Jacksonville for my wedding and reception in 2001. She signed a large cookbook for me with some marital advice/cooking and said that cookbook was a copy of one that her mother used, and how she learned to cook. Very special to me. Then when I remarried in 2009, into a large family of 4 kids, she gave me some advice on raising large families. Our family expanded to 6 by 2013, and she again had wonderful advice for a family with now 6 kids. Something that she knew much about! When she recently lived in FL for a short period of time, it was wonderful for my 6 kids to get to know her, and make some memories together, and for me to get to know my fathers sister, as an adult. My dad has always had fun and heartwarming stories to share of Aunt Joann through the years, and I was finally able to get to spend some time on various trips up to Jacksonville to see her, when I would visit my cousin Sue. Most recently, in October of 2017, I was blessed to have one last visit with Aunt Joann in Daytona, FL at Olive Garden. Little did I know that would be my last meal with her, so I am beyond grateful to have had that one last visit. Three of my kids were able to join me that day, as my Dad brought her and my Aunt Barb down from Jacksonville, and we drove up to meet for dinner after school one day. Hugging her neck one last time, and hearing her say, "Okay honey, great to see you again!" was one of my favorite moments of all fall season last year. Rest assured I still have that cookbook from 2001 and will continue to use it to cook for my large family of 6 kids, and remember my Aunt Joann.
Rest In Peace Aunt Joann and know that you are loved. God rest your soul and God bless your family who loves you! XO - Avery Lee Ray
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