Leonora Joanne Sheerin, 70



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Joanne Sheerin died peacefully at home in Harlingen, Texas, on Dec. 22, 2013. She was 70.

Sheerin was born Aug. 1, 1943, in Springfield, Ill. She came to Alaska in 1979 with her husband, John, and their children, Wade and Candice, settling in Chugiak, where they made lifelong friends.

“Joanne’s zest for life was her trademark,” her family wrote. “Rooms lit up with her arrival, and it seemed as if her very presence made others respond.”

Sheerin was as a hairdresser, and she made lifelong clients and friends by setting the highest standards and consistently setting trends, winning countless awards, and mentoring others.

Though most Alaskans will associate her with the conversations they had sitting in her chair at Allure Day Spa or the Golden Hairpin — or enjoying a martini at Sullivans after hours — her close friends and family had the pleasure of knowing her in jeans, in her kitchen cooking something delectable, or at the dog races, looking as beautiful as ever.

“Her husband, John, and her children were the core of her existence,” her family wrote. “Those dearest to her grounded her, and gave her the ‘wind beneath her wings’ that she referred to when John passed.

“Joanne will be forever remembered for her bright smile, a wicked sense of humor, amazing style, a sage observation, the ability to relate to all people from all walks of life, and her deep love of family,” her family wrote.

Sheerin was preceded in death by her father, Ernest Winingham; and husband, John Sheerin.

She is survived by her mother, Nora Winingham; brother, Dick Winingham; sister, Martha Henness; son, Wade Sheerin; daughter, Candice Schellhase; granddaughter, Gabrielle Sheerin; sister in-law, Sue Winingham; son-in law, Cary Schellhase; and Wade’s fiancée, Robynn Brown.

A celebration of life was held Jan. 11 in Harlingen, Texas. A celebration of life in Alaska will be held in the spring.

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