CORNWALL — Joanna Dennett, 93, of Acworth, N.H., died June 1, 2021, at the home of her daughter, Wendy Pomeroy, in Kittery Point, Maine.
Joanna was born May 5, 1928, to Devon and Marie Dennett of Woodside, Queens, N.Y. She attended the North Country School in Lake Placid, N.Y., as one of its first four students. The school’s dedication to nature, experiential learning and the arts formed the foundation of her adult life.
Her struggle with dyslexia complicated her formal education but Joanna more than made up for it through her limitless interest in all aspects of nature. Sharply observant and fascinated by anything from microbes to astronomy, she saw phenomena others would miss. Animals held a particular fascination: She once welcomed and studied a large barn spider when it took up residence in her dining room, and a flying squirrel she rescued was only one of the wild animals that owed their lives to her care.
She developed her considerable creative talents at the San Francisco School of Art, where she studied metalwork and jewelry.
Among her beautiful handmade nature-inspired designs, her Adam and Eve earrings found wide popularity.
Joanna was fascinated by skeletons, from cows and deer, to mice and hummingbirds. Joining science and art, she collected their bones, cleaned and bleached them, then displayed them where their sculptural qualities could be appreciated, and often incorporated them into her jewelry.
Along with her jewelry career, she taught “Rhythms,” a form of dance, privately in West Cornwall and at the Orchard School in Alstead, N.H.
Joanna studied Anthroposophy, a system of spiritual discovery, and was active in the world peace movement. As an animal activist, she hosted “Save the Whales” parties. She built a house with a room large enough to host political meetings, local art shows and music performances. This room doubled as a gym, featuring a trapeze and pair of rings hanging from the ceiling, to the delight of her grandchildren and other adventurous types.
She was an avid recycler, making many trips to the dump with her clean and organized trash. She expanded the idea by bringing almost as many things home to repair, reuse or give away.
Over her lifetime, Joanna called several places home, among them New York City, Cornwall and Langdon and Acworth, N.H. She was impossible to pigeon-hole; her interests, talents and friendships were wide and unlimited. She leaves countless friends and admirers in many places.
She is survived by her daughters, Sera Lindholm Daemi and her husband, Saiid Daemi, and Wendy Pomeroy and her husband, Deane Rykerson; a son, Aron Lindholm; and her grandchildren, Arianna, Neeka and Roya Daemi, Olivia Pomeroy, and Leif and Ariel Lindholm.
Joanna was predeceased by her parents; her sister, Sally; her son Toby Dennett; and former husbands Fred Mulders, Tony Pomeroy and Einar Lindholm.
A celebration of Joanna’s life will be held at the Second Congregational Church, North Road, East Alstead, N.H., on Sunday, Aug. 15, at 1 p.m. Potluck lunch will follow at Chase’s Mill, one mile west on Route 123.
In lieu of flowers, you are invited to send a donation to Chase’s Mill, or spend time appreciating some small aspect of nature.