May 16, 1944 to January 12, 2015
Joanna Foltz was born Joanna Gwendoline Sant on May 16, 1944, and grew up on a dairy farm outside of Axminster in Devon, England. Independence was a high priority for her starting Day 1. She despised school, where there were a lot of rules, nuns, mustard-colored uniforms, no heat, and boiled onions.
Her favorite stories from her childhood mostly revolved around her family and pony Queenie. She could ride wherever she wanted, and when she was lost, the pony would just walk home.
Soon after leaving home at age 16, she worked in Oxford, and traveled to France and the United States.
She married Paul Hanley and was a military wife and mother for nearly 20 years, moving every few years and living all over the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She could unpack an entire house in one day.
She then married Stan Foltz for seven years. They lived on a yacht for much of their marriage. She was deeply happy sailing up and down the East Coast, wintering in Florida and the Bahamas, and summering in Maine. In 1993, Stan passed away suddenly from brain cancer, but that did not keep her down for long.
Following Stan’s death, Jo sold or gave away most of her possessions, moved into a VW van, and drove all over the country. She settled in Felton, and then Santa Cruz.
She entered a renaissance period during her retirement learning many new skills, among them Tai Chi, Reiki healing, and Lomilomi massage therapy, and she used these skills to heal others.
She continued her international travels, and designed and built a one-room house on the border of Kruger National Park in South Africa, where she lived for several months a year.
Jo loved driving and hiking through the bush, and volunteered regularly at the local orphanage teaching art. She explored many countries on her spiritual journey, including Nepal, Egypt, Peru, Brazil, and Australia, and she made close friends all over the world.
Her family and friends started to notice in 2010 that she was behaving more eccentrically than usual. She moved to The Sylvestery in October of 2012, a home which specializes in care for those with dementia.
She died peacefully on the morning of Jan. 12, 2015 with her children at her side. She is survived by her sister, Belinda Horley and brother-in-law John Horley; her first husband Paul Hanley and his wife Priscilla Hanley; her daughter Fay Hanleybrown and son-in-law Jason Hanleybrown; her son Adrian Hanley and daughter-in-law Amy Hanley; as well as three grandchildren, and many loving family members and friends.
We will celebrate Jo’s life on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at Monarch Cove Inn in Capitola.
Parking for the event will be at the New Brighton Middle School Overflow Parking Lot at 620 Monterey Avenue in Capitola, so please leave time for the shuttle.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Valley Churches United Missions or Heifer International South Africa.