Friday Spotlight

—by Donna Mitchell

I visit teach Joan Tracy, who lives in York, Maine. I decided that she would be a good person to spotlight because so few people in the ward have met her. It has been difficult for her to get to church because she cannot drive right now due to problems with both arms.

Joan was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee but grew up in Bell, California, which is near Watts. It was a lot different then than it is now. When she was about 14 or 15, her family moved to La Mirada, a nicer area also in California.

When she was 17, Joan married Bob Tracy. Three years later, they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Six months after that, they moved to New Hampshire, Bob’s home state. Joan joined the Church in the Manchester Branch, though she was baptized in Concord. They lived in the Manchester area for 18 years, where they adopted their daughter in 1975. In 1979, they moved back to California to help care for Joan’s mother, who died in 1980.

The Tracys moved to Frazier Park, California, which is in the mountains between the Santa Clarita Valley (where I lived for about 15 years) and the San Joaquin Valley, the big central valley of California. It snows in the winter, so Joan had no problem adapting to the cold when she moved back to New England.

About six months after they moved to Frazier Park, their son Jason was born. This was after 20 years of marriage! Joan found out she was expecting the week before Halloween and her son was born the week after Christmas. Her cousin was jealous and upset because she felt that Joan had the shortest pregnancy on record. Joan was planning to go to an amusement park after her appointment with the obstetrician, but instead she went to the hospital and had a C-section. She is very proud of her son, who among other accomplishments was the yoyo champion of the world in 1997.

While the Tracys lived in California, they bought several video stores. Joan also worked for the phone company for 18 years. Bob died on May 1, 2005. Joan continued to care for his mother, an Alzheimer’s victim, for two and a half years until she died in 2007.

Joan has a good friend from her ward in Frazier Park whom she has known for 35 years. This friend moved to Wells, Maine, and urged Joan to join her there. In 2011, Joan retired from the phone company and came to York. She got a job as a visiting companion/helper, but after a very short time had to give it up for the present.

A couple months after she arrived in Maine, Joan broke her right arm and has been in agony ever since. She has had three surgeries on that arm and now has radial palsy of her left hand, caused by a bruised nerve which will take months to heal. Although she no longer has to wear the braces continually, she is still unable to drive, to lift anything heavy, or to open most cans, jars or bottles. Since it is difficult for her to cook, she greatly appreciates the meals which the Relief Society sisters have brought her. She especially enjoys visiting with those who have the time to spend with her. Thank you so much to all who go out of their way to serve!

Joan loves eating peaches, spinach, watermelon, shrimp and lobster. She loves reading, watching movies, visiting people, and sightseeing. In August, she and her friend Char from Wells went to Boothbay with the York Senior Center. They had a good time shopping, going for a boat ride, and attending a lobster bake. Next month she is planning to go with the Seniors to Conway, New Hampshire for three days of fun including a sleigh ride, shopping, and shows. She is also planning to go to California to visit her son for Christmas and his birthday. In spite of her handicap, Joan does her best to keep up her spirits and enjoy life. Let the good times roll!

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