Joanna DeMaris, 86, of Surprise, Arizona passed away on Sunday, August 6, 2023, from complications of COPD. Called Jo by her family and friends, she was born on February 20, 1937, the only child of Cleo and Charles DeMaris of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Jo graduated from Schenley High School in Pittsburgh in 1955 and then enrolled in secretarial school and became a skilled and valued part of several corporations, including WIIC (now WPXI), Channel 11.
Following the premature deaths of her parents, Jo left Pittsburgh in the early 1960s and moved to San Francisco. She lived there and the surrounding area, the rest of her working life. Jo joined Crowley Maritime Corporation, the West Coast-centered shipping giant, in 1971. She became the Executive Assistant to the Chairman and retired in 1999. She then moved to Surprise, Arizona, where a number of friends had retired.
Friendly and gregarious, Jo made and kept many friends all her life. Jo loved cats and always had a cat or cats on whom she could lavish affection. She traveled extensively, though her real love was cooking and fine dining. An invitation to her dinner table was prized, and well rewarded.
She is survived by her two cousins, whom she considered her “sisters”, Frances K. Cohen of New York, NY, and her husband Peter Cohen and Debra Ann Walker of Pleasantville, NY, her husband James Walker and their son Jack.
For those wishing to make a gesture in memory of Jo, and her deep love of animals, we suggest a donation to PETSVET Animal Hospital, 15808 N. El Mirage Road, Surprise AZ 85378, 623-910-3242.