"AROUND SUNOL" by BREE K. JAMES


April 15, 2002

SAYING FAREWELL to good friends is always difficult, but in the case of Joanne Dean Freemire and her husband Michael, it is also a great loss to our community. Joanne and Michael are moving to Pennsylvania to spend time with Joanne's ailing mother. At a Save Our Sunol luncheon in their honor at Elliston Vineyards recently, forty friends gathered with the Freemires and Joanne's son and daughter-in-law David and Leah Dean.

Joanne recently retired from her long service as a naturalist with the East Bay Regional Park District and has been an active environmentalist for many years. Among those who spoke at the luncheon of the inspiration and encouragement she has given them were Jeff Miller, director of the Alameda Creek Alliance; Alameda County Planning Commissioner Audrey LePell; Margaret Tracy of Preserve Area Ridgelands; Maryanne Canaparo, a colleague of Joanne's at EBRPD; and SOS president Pat Stillman.

Joanne came to Sunol's Kilkare Woods in 1982, where she served on the KWA board of directors. She and Michael married in 1986 and moved to their home on Kilkare Road in 1992. The couple has been active together in many environmental causes, including being founding members of Save Our Sunol.

Michael worked for Chevron for over 20 years, but his true calling is healing. He studied at the Berkeley Psychic Institute and developed healing techniques based on therapeutic sound theory. His business, Harmonic Healer, has helped many, and he plans to continue this work in Pennsylvania.

As I write this, the moving van is filling up in the Freemire's driveway. They have promised to stay in touch and visit as often as they can and we sure hope they do. We send them on their way with many good wishes, piles of gratitude and the knowledge that they will be dearly missed.

NEVER TOO BUSY TO SERVE: Sunolian Louise Walsh Throop completed a comprehensive course on priority senior issues in February. The course is conducted by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors®, a national organization that has trained over 8,000 professionals in this country. Successful participants complete a thorough examination to earn the Certified Senior Advisor (CSA™) designation. As a CSA, Louise will participate annually in continuing education provided by the Society.

Louise is a financial advisor and owns Foothill Securities on Main Street in Sunol. She is affectionately known around here as "Treasurer of Everything," because she is very generous about sharing her skills with community groups. She is currently treasurer of both Save Our Sunol and the Sunol Repertory Theatre and as a member of the Sunol Business Guild she is updating the town phone directory she published in 1996.

It's amazing how much Louise does. In addition to her business and community service, she is active in numerous professional networking groups, attends exercise and yoga classes and has just published her second book! The book, George Soule of the Mayflower and his Descendants in the Fifth and Sixth Generations, is the second in a series of six and is a revision of materials gathered by John E. Soule and Milton Terry. Published by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, it is part of the Five Generations Project, documenting the current status of research on Mayflower families.

Never one to slow down, she is already hard at work on the third book in the series. Congratulations Louise, on your certification as a CSA, your continuing community service, and the publication of your book.

TIME TO LAUGH: There's nothing like a good laugh to go along with the arrival of spring. Due to the popularity of their comedy events Elliston Vineyards is hosting three this year. The first is Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring a delicious buffet dinner and comedians Drew Hastings and Dennis Regan, both veterans of Jay Leno's Late Show. Tickets for dinner and the show are $55 per person. Call 925-862-2377 for reservations and mark your calendars for the summer and fall shows coming July 12 and October 11.

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