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Joanna H. Ramwell Arpee ’83

A picture of Joanna Ramwell Arpee

Jo Ramwell Arpee ’83 on the zip-line, showing that she remained a Reedie at heart.

Joanna H. Ramwell Arpee ’83, March 4, 2011, at home in Virginia, from ovarian cancer. Jo was born in England, attended high school in Virginia, rode her bike 900 miles across the Continental Divide, lived in France for a summer, and studied chemistry at the University of Virginia—all before transferring to Reed, where she earned a BA in English literature. Reed helped her to develop skills in critical thinking and in intelligent and thoughtful communication, she wrote. “It's hard to say who taught me more: my professors and the curriculum, or my wonderful classmates, housemates, and friends.” After graduation, Jo moved to the D.C. area, worked for a cancer research fundraising organization, and was a chef at a vegetarian restaurant. Soon thereafter, she joined St Margaret Episcopal Church, where she met her husband, John Arpee. Jo's passion for cooking and her concern for nutrition led her back to school to earn an MS in nutritional sciences from the University of Maryland in 1993. She was active in the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network and a frequent contributor to the Food Allergy News. Jo and John welcomed three children through adoption, Paul, Samuel, and James, and eventually settled in Herndon, Virginia, where she volunteered to “help Reedies find Reed” for the Admission Alumni Network. “Always eager to be involved, Jo served at every opportunity with love and enthusiasm, often in leadership roles,” John wrote. “Jo was never lukewarm and she was profoundly committed to other people. She used to say that acts of service are her love language. Judging by all her service, she had a lot of love, and, as her husband, I was greatly blessed. Jo will be missed, remembered and loved by all who knew her. Thank God her suffering is over and she is now at peace.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2011

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