Joan Virginia Barritt McDougall died on September 3, 2019 at the age of 89. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1930, she was the daughter of Maude Sinclaire Westbrook Barritt and Robert Carlyle Barritt. She was predeceased by her brothers Carlyle Westbrook Barritt and Robert Cameron Barritt. She grew up along the banks of the Susquehanna River in West Pittston and spoke of her love of that river and surrounding area late into her life. Awarded a scholarship, Joan attended Wyoming Seminary prep school. Upon her graduation, she returned to her mother’s beloved Virginia where she attended the College of William and Mary and received her undergraduate degree with a 4.0 GPA and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. A few years later, she obtained her B.A. in nursing from the University of Virginia again with a perfect 4.0. At age 23, she married Robert Barkesdale Ooghe, and in 1961 she helped him open his medical practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Joan worked as his office manager and nurse until the birth of her first daughter, Virginia Barritt. Two years later, her second daughter, Robin Barkesdale, was born. Joan loved the peace of the mountains and country all of her life and raised both of her daughters on Rainbow Acres in Albemarle County. She introduced both of her daughters to a love of nature, horseback riding, singing and swimming and encouraged their education and artistic talent. When her aging parents needed her, Joan moved her small family to Lexington, Virginia where she spent the next several years caring for each of them and working as a charge nurse at Stonewall Jackson Hospital. Soon after the birth of her grandson, Joshua Christian McDougall, Joan again moved her family – to Bradenton, Florida. There she obtained her ministerial diploma at the Institute of Ministry at Christian Retreat and continued her nursing career both in nursing home settings and in-home health. Joan’s desire was to live her life in service, and she made her children a part of that. She raised her grandson Joshua as well as her two daughters and worked hard to instill in them the values she held dear: love of others, consideration of God and a life eternal, a desire for education and the peace found in the wilderness. Her final move was to join her two daughters in Tallahassee, Florida where she once again found herself living in her beloved countryside on a hill where she “watched the deer cross the meadows every morning and basked in a glorious sunset every evening”. She is survived by her daughters: Virginia Barritt Thornton (Reggie Thornton) and Robin Barkesdale McDougall (Gretchen DeYoung) as well as her grandson, Joshua Christian McDougall (Daniela Sabillon). A memorial will be held at Mahan Farms where, when she could no longer walk, Brett Barteld welcomed Joan many weekends when her daughter would drive her from one horse to the other to share her love and smiles. No flowers, please. Any memorial can be made in Joan’s name to: Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, 830 Watt Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32303.
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