Joanne Curran Fayette, 1964-2004
by Gary Pendleton
Let them find rest in their labors, for their work accompanies them.
The Book of Revelations
Joanne Curran Fayette was just 40 years old when she died of a brain aneurysm on April 22. Her unexpected departure has stunned and saddened a large circle of family, friends and associates. She left behind her husband, Kevin Fayette.
Joanne was a familiar presence in downtown North Beach, where she operated Bay Avenue Antiques for more than a decade until Hurricane Isabel knocked her out of business in September, 2003. From her shop at the corner of Bay and Seventh, Joanne bought junk and sold antiques, gave free advice, expressed opinions about town politics and put all of us before her, said Tim Stafford in a moving eulogy at St. Anthonys Church.
Joanne Fayettes work indeed accompanies her. She was president of the Beach Business Association, an organization of business and professional people in the Twin Beach area. Even after Isabel forced her shop to close, she carried on her responsibilities. She was also once co-chair of the North Beach Economic Steering Committee, a group that focused on developing a consensus for revitalization efforts.
|photo courtesy of MaryLee Greenlee
Joanne and her husband Kevin during the Annual St. Patricks Day Parade on March 14th in Washington.
Joanne was a community builder, said Calvert County Commissioner Susan Shaw. She touched peoples lives.
She touched my heart, said friend George Fordyce of North Beach Auto Service.
She touched hearts by giving. She made a difference in peoples lives. She gave her time. All you had to do was ask, said Stafford.
Many times, Joanne didnt wait to be asked. Her generosity was of a higher order, freely given to anyone she thought might need it. She was the kind of person who went beyond meaning well. She didnt just say, let me know what I can do; she saw what needed to be done and she took action. Whether it was a ride to the doctor, a meal or community service, she gave of herself with warmth and a great smile.
She did not seek recognition, awards or political office. She gave because she cared. She loved her friends, her community and her family. Her good deeds were public as well as private, large as well as small. She left her mark on the community in a quiet way, though she certainly was not afraid to speak loudly.
At her funeral service, Father Patrick Kemp sought to comfort those who question why someone so young was taken from her family, her friends her community.
Kemp repeated the words from Revelations: Let them find rest in their labors for their work accompanies them. Perhaps, he suggested, her work on earth was done.
Joanne lived large. Did she live large because her time was short? Or was it because she loved life? Her accomplishments, her services, her friendships add up to more than enough to fill a life that spanned beyond the 40 years she was given. Her legacy is a reminder to enjoy the good times, to care, to give something back and to smile.
May she rest in peace.