Turtle Volunteer Joanne Foreman Dies
by Mark MacAllister
February 12, 2008
Members of the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST) are mourning the recent loss of one of their most loved, dedicated and respected volunteers. Joanne Foreman, NEST's telephone coordinator, passed away quietly in her sleep. Joanne was the sea turtles' link to the human world on the Outer Banks. She manned the NEST telephone hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 11 years. She was the foundational link of a chain of volunteers dedicated to assisting the sea turtles on the Outer Banks.
From her home she was readily available to handle any inquiry on the endangered animals that inhabit our seas and come ashore to either nest or because they are in trouble. From her table, she coordinated rescues of sick or injured turtles, nesting and hatching of healthy turtles and a myriad of calls inquiring about other creatures of the sea from whales to birds.
Besides the creatures, she diplomatically coordinated the many personalities of the 100 volunteers in NEST, the inquiring tourists, the park service employees, the veterinarians and the employees at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. At her fingertips she had the answer for any problem that arose, and the knowledge and compassion to find a solution.
After graduating from Salem College, Joanne began her career working for the FBI. She met her husband Chuck in Germany. After several positions, they settled in Mechanicsville, Virginia to raise their family. Their son Paul and his family still reside there. In 1993, Chuck and Joanne moved to the Outer Banks and began their many hours of volunteer service.
Joanne was deeply loved, greatly respected and most of all will be sorely missed. She leaves a void in the NEST organization that cannot be filled. Her dedication and example will only spur the volunteers on in their quests to save the endangered sea turtles of the world.
Joanne will be missed by her colleagues, by turtles and by the world. She brightened the path of everyone who has had the privilege of knowing her. May she rest in peace.
To learn more about Joanne and her work, be sure to see Horton Hatches the (Turtle) Egg.
About the author:
Mark MacAllister is the Project Coordinator for Field
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