Joany Earle Condoret, beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend, has left this world. By universal consensus of those who knew her, the world is a much poorer place, as there never lived a nicer, sweeter, kinder person. It was hard to find any evidence that she was human, and not an angel – her addiction to junk food (Cheetos and M & M’s) being the only evidence that she might have been human after all.
A delightful creature, she used to joke that she thought she “might” really be a leprechaun. Her merry spirit and natural optimism carried her entire family through many dark times, from being refugees from North Africa, through multiple hardships they faced in the U.S. She was quick to laugh or erupt into a fit of giggles, making any obstacle seem manageable.
Born in Worcester, MA, on May 21, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Vice Admiral Ralph Earle, Jr., of Annapolis, MD, and the late Audrey Saxby of Santa Barbara, CA. She attended Duke University where her facility with languages had her reading Russian novels in the original “just for fun”. Her free spirit disguised a deeply intellectual mind that delved into opera, classical music, history, ethics, art, and many other subjects. She studied Art at La Sorbonne in Paris, where she met her husband Jon Condoret, who was studying architecture. Joany and Jon had a very happy marriage for almost 50 years until Jon’s passing in 2010.
Joany enjoyed the works of William Faulkner, old school country music by Willie Nelson and George Jones, black and white movies, and Duke Basketball. Her love of head-banging rock and roll made her the coolest Mom on the block, with “Rock of Ages” by Def Leppard a favorite.
When living in downtown Chapel Hill, Joany was saddened about the fate of native wildlife being displaced by development. She bought day old bagels to feed racoons that lived in a nearby ditch. In Disney-movie-like moments, the racoons brought their newborn kits to show her, and would put their tiny paws around her ankles when she brought them their daily bagels.
Joany volunteered for years as soup kitchen cook and night monitor at the IFC Women’s Shelter in Chapel Hill. She made many friends among the residents and brought a constant parade of colorful and felonious characters home with her, to the sometimes consternation of her family.
A brilliant artist, Joany’s powerful religious stained glass works are known for their depth of feeling. Some can be seen at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Raleigh, near the sanctuary, designed by her late husband. It gave her some peace to know her work stood alongside her husband’s. There are also some of her beautiful works at Pullen Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.
Joany’s greatest wish was that people would stop over populating the planet, and that wildlife could have their own habitat set aside for them. Often, when she drove past a new development that denuded the Earth, she would cry.
Joany leaves bereaved her daughter Arielle Schechter, and son-in-law, Arnie Schechter, of Chapel Hill, NC, daughter Brigitte Robindore, of France; grandchildren, Annabelle and Finnegan Robindore; sister and brother-in-law, Audrey and Robert Nevitt of Washington, DC; machateynes Pearl Schechter, of Chapel Hill, NC; niece, Nathalie Condoret, (who was like a daughter to her) of Pittsboro, NC; nephew, Christopher Nevitt and his wife, Lisa Reynolds, of Denver, CO; niece, Dorothy Nevitt, of Tucson, AZ; brother-in-law, Pierre Condoret and his wife, Catherine of St. Marcel, France; niece, Brigitte Condoret and her wife, Stephanie Watkins, of Pittsboro, NC; nephew, Philippe Condoret, and his wife Laurie of Siler City, NC; sister-in-law, Nicole Condoret of Pittsboro, NC; niece, Cecille Condoret of France; nephew and godson, Pierre Condoret, Jr.; nephew, Emanuel Condoret of France; and many more dear relatives, friends, and neighbors.