Joan Gail Warren, 84, heart-transplant recipient known as ‘the Rose of Rose Avenue’ is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Joan Gail Warren
Joan Gail Warren

Joan Gail Warren, 84, of 505 Rose Ave. in Wilmington, passed away on Thursday, April 7, 2016, after a short illness.

Joan was born in Durham on October 27, 1931, to Joseph Luther and Geneva Short Winstead. She had three sisters and one brother, all of whom preceded her in death. She was raised in Durham, where she was given much love and attention by her older siblings and extended family. She was so easy to love, and she loved everyone. Joan was a devoted member of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church.

She was truly the ‘Rose of Rose Avenue.’ If you have ever ridden down Rose Avenue in Wilmington, you could not miss her yard, for it is the loveliest on the street. You could tell how much love and attention it had been given and that beautiful garden was tended by this beautiful lady. She loved working in her yard, and spent many happy hours making it the blessed showplace it is. She even won the Most Beautiful Yard of the Month Award.

She loved making a home for her family and friends to feel welcome at any time they wished to visit. She enjoyed writing poetry and decorating her home, for which she had flair and style for. She never lost interest in life itself. She truly loved life, and all that it meant, especially the gathering of family and friends. She would cook large meals for each special occasion, holidays and birthdays, and invite all of her family to attend.

Joan was a walking miracle; she had a heart transplant 23 years ago at the Duke Medical Center in Durham. She never let that new heart prevent her from doing the things she loved. We owe Duke Medical Center a great deal of appreciation for giving us 23 years of precious time to share with her. Hers was not a life wasted, for she treasured every moment of life she had.

Her passing has left a big hole in the lives of her family and friends. We cannot feel the same way about holidays and special occasions ever again. We only pass through this life but once, and Joan shared her love and enjoyment for her life with those of us who loved her.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Robert Earl Warren of the home; two sons, Rickey Warren (wife, Bobbie) and Brett Warren (wife, Betty), all of Winnabow; two granddaughters, Brittany Sidbury (husband, Gerrod) and Candace Warren; one grandson, Mikey Benton (wife, Melissa). Preceding her in death was one granddaughter, Heather Warren Shows. She had four great-grandchildren.

We want to acknowledge and show appreciation for her long devoted friend, Wanda Smith. We would also like to acknowledge a very special niece, Trena Killette.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, April 11, at Wilmington Funeral and Cremation.

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