"Big Joan" Baez, Mother of Folksinger, Dies Within Week of 100th Birthday
|Both Joans, Mimi & Bob|
Dylan (Photo: MySpace)
"Big Joan" was born in Edinburgh, Scotland as Joan Bridge in 1913. She met her husband, Albert Baez, at a high school dance after the family moved to Madison, NJ. The couple had three children, Pauline, Joan and Mimi (Fariña).
Albert was an activist who worked in health care and with UNESCO, so the family moved frequently to new cities around the world. "Big Joan" also frequently was involved in causes and, in October 1967, she and her daughter, along with over 70 other women, were arrested at an Air Force Induction Center in Oakland, CA where they blocked the doorway to keep new inductees out of the building.
The two Joans lived together in Woodside, CA for much of Joan, Sr.'s later years.
The following was posted on Baez's website:
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Joan's mother, Joan Baez, Sr.
Joan Chandos Baez, Senior, passed away just days after her 100th birthday on Saturday, April 20, at 11:40pm in her home in Woodside, Cailfornia.
A huge celebration took place a week earlier, on the property, amidst oak trees, spring flowers and 100 brightly colored balloons. A hundred and fifty friends and family sang "Happy Birthday" to her, the notes echoing downhill past the chickens, and on farther to the creek, and then throughout the oak trees.
She once wrote the following:
WHEN I JOIN THE HEAVENLY BAND
Friends who want to celebrate my new adventure, please gather round. Don't grieve, for it's only a worn out body that's leaving and the memory of any sad times goes with it. The good memories are in my spirit and my spirit is with you today. I'm in your midst, for there's nothing more valuable to me than to be with you, my beloved family and my gracious friends.
Take a moment for silence and wish me well. I'll hear you. Then make
the bottles pop. You know I love champagne almost as much
as I love you!