8/3/1953 – 2/8/2019
JoAnne Elaine Castro Dommeyer of Santa Ynez Valley received her Golden Wings when she passed away on Feb. 8 at the St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital. She is now set free to dance in Heaven, reunited with her beloved husband.
JoAnne was born on Aug. 3, 1953 to Eleanor and Fred Castro. She was raised with her six brothers in a love-filled household in Carpinteria, California. Growing up by the beach, JoAnne had a special and deep connection with the ocean. In her time at Carpinteria High School, JoAnne was a song leader, participated in drama and became involved with the Chicano Student Rights Movement. She was president of M.E.C.H.A and a proud member of the Jr. Brown Berets. She graduated from Carpinteria High School in 1971, and shortly after she married her high school sweetheart Donald J. Dommeyer.
JoAnne was a loving and devoted wife. She and Don moved to North Carolina where Don was stationed in the army. They returned to live in Summerland and eventually moved to the Santa Ynez Valley to raise their family on a little slice of heaven in Los Olivos.
JoAnne found joy in staying deeply involved in her children’s lives and being of service to others. As her five children grew up, she coached many of the sports teams they played on, touching the lives of their teammates and their families. She poured love into making delicious home-cooked meals for family and friends. JoAnne and Don would often open their home to friends in need by offering a bite to eat, love, care and a place to stay. JoAnne often said that she wanted her home to be like a lighthouse shining light to those in need.
One of JoAnne’s favorite pastimes was playing slow-pitch softball. Many years were spent on the field with the village of people that helped shape her family. Some of her closest and dearest friends were her teammates. JoAnne was an outstanding pitcher and known for remaining calm under pressure. She had a grace about her and kept her cool in the toughest situations. She had a love for the sport that she passed down to her five children. She applied her athletic skill and talent to coach her kids’ sports teams. She was loved by all the children whose lives she touched. She coached T-ball, middle school and high school softball, as well as, AYSO soccer, volleyball, cheerleading and Girl Scout Advisors.
JoAnne showed her creative side through her paintings, cards and poetry writing. She filled journals with her insights, songs and wisdom. She was the go-to sign maker for many community events.
JoAnne loved the Lord with all her heart and developed an unwavering faith that fueled her soul during the most difficult times. For many years she was a member of the Santa Ynez Foursquare Church and served as a deacon. She played the bongos on the worship team, hosted Bible studies and prayer nights.
Her can-do attitude, punny humor, gentle softness and empathetic understanding made her a lovely, beaming light within the community and beyond. As a mother and grandmother, she was patient and remained calm, kind beyond words, caring and loving. She prided herself in leading by example and had a way about her that encouraged others to learn, grow and become the best version of themselves.
In 2008, she was diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson’s disease called Multiple Systems Atrophy. For years JoAnne remained cared for in her home; although her body fell into severe decline, her mind, heart and faith stayed strong. JoAnne was eventually admitted to Sub Acute care, where she lived out the rest of her days. During that time, she enjoyed holiday trips to Carpinteria, the occasional trip to the beach, and found joy in hearing stories about the lives of her family and friends. JoAnne continued to show an unparalleled strength and positivity, that shined through her existence like rays of sunshine, full of faith that the Lord was always with her and using her in his plan.
JoAnne is survived by her five children Denicia, Erika, Bobby, Caydi and Christiana Dommeyer, her three grandchildren Anthony, Mikey and Sydney Gills, her six brothers Louie, Eddie and Bobby Calderon and Danny, Freddy and Abel Castro.
Friends and family that would like to gather for a Celebration of Life, please join the family on Saturday, March 23 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church, 1825 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang.