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Woodside: Mother of Joan Baez dies at 100

 

Woodside resident Joan Chandos Baez, the mother of famed folk singer and Woodside resident Joan Baez, died at home on Saturday, April 20, just a few days after her 100th birthday, her daughter Joan said in a posting at JoanBaez.com.

Some 50 friends and family members had gathered at the Baez home to celebrate Ms. Baez Sr.'s birthday a week earlier, the posting said. There were balloons and spring flowers and singing, of course, with an audience that included chickens and oak trees and the denizens of the creek down the hill.

Joan Bridge was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, and met her husband Albert Baez at a high school dance after the Bridge family moved to Madison, New Jersey, according to VintageVinylNews.com. The couple had three children: Pauline, Joan and Mimi (Farina).

Among the highlights of their lives together, VintageVinylNews.com reported that the "two Joans" were arrested after helping to block a doorway into a U. S. Air Force induction center in Oakland in October 1967, a time when American involvement in the Vietnam War was escalating.

The web posting includes a message, "When I Join the Heavenly Band," said to be composed by Ms. Baez Sr.

"Friends who want to celebrate my new adventure, please gather round. Don't grieve, for it's only a worn out body that's leaving and the memory of any sad times goes with it. The good memories are in my spirit and my spirit is with you today. I'm in your midst, for there's nothing more valuable to me than to be with you, my beloved family and my gracious friends.

"Take a moment for silence and wish me well. I'll hear you. Then make the bottles pop. You know I love champagne almost as much as I love you!"

"Big Joan"

Dave Boyce

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Jennifer Loewenstein
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm

By chance, I came across the news that Joan Bridge Baez - mother of the famed folksinger Joan Baez - passed away just days after turning 100 years old (on April 20th, 2013). It would be difficult to describe the wistful, nostalgic feelings this news brought with it to me: when I was only 12, Joan Baez' mother took the time out to write a real, hand-written, letter to my sister and me who had written to Joan to express our thanks and love for what she did and all that she stood for. Joan Baez was the beginning of my own journey to pacifism and to anti-war activism. Back then it was Vietnam; after it came the terror of US supported troops in Central and South America; and on to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and my own ceaseless efforts to bring some kind of justice and understanding to the Palestinians by standing alongside those who refuse to accept occupation and dehumanization; those who understood and continue to understand that we are all citizens of the world first and foremost - and only long after that, Jews or Arabs, or Muslims, or Christians, or any other label given to us that works so well at dividing us. Thank you Joan Senior for your lovely, thought-filled, encouraging letters. Thank you, Joan Junior, for the voice that expresses the beauty and anguish in your eyes and heart; that reflect the bitter ironies of our times; and that bind our souls together in a common humanity.


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Posted by Gerald Smith
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 6, 2013 at 12:00 am

The message of "Big Joan" to her family and friends as she joined the "heavenly band". What eloquence and wonder as she moved to her "new adventure".


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