Joan McCabe-Barnum Obituary
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In Memory of

Joan M. McCabe-Barnum

February 7, 1956 - May 16, 2014
Obituary
Biography

When Joan M. McCabe-Barnum walked into the room, those in her company felt energy, an enthusiastic spontaneity. This was just one example of who Joan was and how she impacted those around her. She was a clever and gregarious person who always sought out the finest attributes in other people. It was as if Joan wanted to share all of their experiences, revel in their lives and celebrate their discoveries. Joan was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve her well throughout her life. Joan was born on February 7, 1956 at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She was the daughter of Joe and Patricia McCabe and was raised in Southwest Philadelphia. Always at the ready with a good joke, she grew up to be quite a humorous person. While some who knew Joan might describe her as an idealist, her friends and family understood well that she was always in pursuit of life’s endless possibilities and opportunities available to her. Joan was raised with three siblings. She had and older sister, Pattyann and two younger brothers, Patrick and Paul. Joan was very accepting and supportive of her family. She was perceived as the central person in her family in terms of keeping communication open between the family members. Whenever discord or tension arose within the home, Joan was typically the member who brought about resolution and harmony. These traits served Joan well in her adult life and, along with her wit, outgoing personality, and...
When Joan M. McCabe-Barnum walked into the room, those in her company felt energy, an enthusiastic spontaneity. This was just one example of who Joan was and how she impacted those around her. She was a clever and gregarious person who always sought out the finest attributes in other people. It was as if Joan wanted to share all of their experiences, revel in their lives and celebrate their discoveries. Joan was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve her well throughout her life.

Joan was born on February 7, 1956 at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She was the daughter of Joe and Patricia McCabe and was raised in Southwest Philadelphia. Always at the ready with a good joke, she grew up to be quite a humorous person. While some who knew Joan might describe her as an idealist, her friends and family understood well that she was always in pursuit of life’s endless possibilities and opportunities available to her.

Joan was raised with three siblings. She had and older sister, Pattyann and two younger brothers, Patrick and Paul. Joan was very accepting and supportive of her family. She was perceived as the central person in her family in terms of keeping communication open between the family members. Whenever discord or tension arose within the home, Joan was typically the member who brought about resolution and harmony. These traits served Joan well in her adult life and, along with her wit, outgoing personality, and understanding of others, drew the admiration of many who knew her.

As a young girl, Joan was able to empathize and identify with a vast array of people and personality types. This quality drew her into a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Joan was intelligent and had little trouble getting along with her peers. She was almost always the first to jump in when it came to playing games or participating in other childhood activities. Joan was very outdoor centric. She was parachuting at age 17 and enjoyed white water rafting. Joan had the ability to find amusement with almost any activity she and the many childhood friends she shared might discover.

During her high school years, Joan responded enthusiastically to any new project and was regularly in search of one adventure after another. In 1975, she graduated from Interboro Sr. High School in Prospect Park, PA. Joan was a very good student, and generally did well in her courses. Joan absorbed as much as she could from all of her teachers and was consistently able to tackle conceptual and abstract problems, using her imagination to master her assignments. For Joan, school often became just an extension of playtime, thanks to her ability to turn just about anything into a game. Classmates considered her a good listener, knowing that when necessary, they could go to her to discuss just about anything.

With a talent for making acquaintances easily which in turn brought her an endless stream of friends, Joan was very sociable and could blend without effort into any social group. Assertive and outgoing, Joan was easy to know and demonstrated a deep concern for others. She always seemed aware of what was going on with people around her and throughout her life she made many, many friends. While growing up, some of her best friends were Jiggsy Smith, Mary Olsen and The Smith Girls. Later in life, she was close friends with her daughter, Samantha, her son, Samson and her husband, Samuel.

On December 27, 1981 Joan married Samuel Barnum at their home in California, surrounded by friends. Joan's skill at “building bridges” played an important role in her ability to make her new family happy. She was quite sensitive towards Samuel's needs, showing him constant concern and fondness. Joan was tenderhearted and sensitive, qualities that served her well in helping to nurture her family.

Joan was a natural and creative parent who was willing to provide her family with all sorts of new and interesting experiences. For Joan, parenting was a particularly enjoyable and pleasurable part of her life. Every activity, from chores to bedtime routines, became a game in the McCabe-Barnum home. Joan's skill at understanding her children's feelings, her sensitivity to their needs, and her gift for gentle persuasion enabled her to find novel solutions to any problem or situation that might pop up. Joan was blessed with two children: a daughter, Samantha and son, Samson. She was also blessed with two grandchildren, Oli and Bella.

Joan was uplifted by new ideas and was excited by life’s possibilities, traits that made her an exceptional worker. Her primary occupation was Care Giver. Recently, Joan was the caretaker of Cecil Simmon for 5 years and then a self-employed caretaker for Samuel. Joan had the uncanny ability to identify a win/win solution to just about any problem, possibly because of her gift for insight. Joan had a kind heart and a generous spirit. She was always willing to give of herself and her time.

Because Joan loved to have a broad variety of activities in her life, she took advantage of the opportunity to pursue numerous hobbies. Joan was the "Handy Man" of the house. She loved working on projects figuring out how things worked. Joan had a knack for being able to multi-task in order to create time for all of her favorite pastimes. However, Joan's ever-present concern for others always took precedence.

Joan was a woman who was dedicated and devoted to her faith. She was a member of the New Bethel Baptist Church for the past 4-5 years. During that time, she was involved in the church Choir. She was sympathetic and able to empathize with others and she used these qualities to the fullest while working tirelessly for her beliefs.

Joan's love of improvising in her daily life was a perfect fit for her enjoyment of traveling. Her favorite vacations were ones that were not planned. Traveling in a casual manor fit her personality well. Excited about seeing changing scenery and constantly looking for the enjoyment life could offer, Joan took her vacations seriously, well, as seriously as she possibly could. Favorite vacations included St. Thomas, Virginia Islands and Colorado Springs Redwoods.

Joan was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. She had two Dalmatians’, Spot and Mya and three cats named Lovely, Moses and Precious. Joan was a best friend for Spot and Mya for 6 years and the cats for 4 years.

Because, Joan was such a flexible person and able to adjust to any situation, retirement was just another enjoyable change of pace for her to master. In retirement, she found new pleasure in doing work around the house and shopping. Even in retirement, Joan continued to stay in touch with her old friends and like always, made plenty of new ones.

Joan McCabe-Barnum passed away on May 16, 2014 at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas, NV of a heart attack. She is survived by her husband of 35 years, Samuel Barnum; her mother, Patricia; daughter, Samantha; sons, Samson, Paul and Patrick; sister Pattyann; and grandchildren, Oli and Bella.

There was always a certain style and inventiveness to Joan. She was a dynamic, self-expressive person who was forever looking to celebrate the endless possibilities life had to offer. She had a knack for being clever, creative and witty, and for others, was a joy to be around. While she was often fiercely independent, it seemed as if many others looked to Joan McCabe-Barnum for inspiration, leadership, wisdom and even courage. Joan was always more than willing to share life’s experiences with her loved ones.

"Joanie, Still can't believe you're gone! Way too Soon!! You were an awesome person and it was fun growing up with you! Never knew what was going to..." Sophia Smith-Storti (Woodlyn, PA)

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