Jo-Ann Ash Fairbanks
January 10, 1943 – November 3, 2019
Jo-Ann was born on 10 January 1943 to Joseph and Nicoline Ash. Her earliest years were in the Los Angeles area. After World War II, the family, now with Jo-Ann’s younger brother, Daniel Ash, moved to Santa Clara. She eventually adopted Campbell, California, where she lived for over fifty years. Jo-Ann held deep passion for making a difference and was fierce in her pursuit to break down societal and personal barriers.
In the workplace she developed and managed Pipeline employee feedback programs and Town Meetings for some of the founding technology firms in the Silicon Valley. In those places and while simultaneously going back to college, she paved the way to her calling as a worklife coach, eventually to beginning her own successful consulting practice. She loved the one on one meetings, getting people to ask themselves the tough questions and often seeing them move off on paths they had always wanted but never believed they could follow.
Seeded by her sons’ involvement in soccer, Jo-Ann went on to play, coach and then to shatter barriers in sport through officiating. She was a published author on the topic and rose to become a USSF (United States Soccer Federation) and FIFA (Fédération International de Football Association) referee, officiating in both men’s and women’s games at the highest level. One of her proudest, most memorable moments was to run line at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Haiti in 1991, officially making her the first US female referee to work an international tournament. When she spoke of the experience she recalled the massive crowd pushing her against the twenty foot gates of the stadium as her group entered. Inside, 30,000 spectators packed a stadium built for 15,000. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was behind her as she ran the line.
Jo-Ann loved Redwoods and wanted to share their grandeur with the world. She was a docent and volunteer at California State Parks, where she fostered a passion for education and the preservation and proliferation of these majestic species.
Connected to her love of Redwoods, trees in general, and public open spaces, Jo-Ann believed strongly in the Campbell community. She worked arduously over the years to assure her beloved fellow citizens would have nearby places to meet, play, contemplate and enjoy.
Jo-Ann is preceded in death by her parents Joseph R. and Nicoline C. Ash and by her grandchild Hampton Fairbanks. She is survived by her brother, Daniel Ash, her sons Jason and Joshua Fairbanks, her daughters-in-law Pamela Fairbanks and Aungela Fairbanks, her granddaughter Brianna Fairbanks and granddaughter Halle Fairbanks.
Visitation will be held on Sunday the 17th of November from 5 PM to 8 PM at the Lima Family Santa Clara Mortuary, 466 North Winchester Blvd. Funeral Mass will be held Monday the 18th of November at 11 AM at St. Justin Parish in Santa Clara, California, followed by internment at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to her favorite organizations: The VFW, Sempervirens Fund or Save the Redwoods League or, with her in mind, plant a tree, especially a redwood, somewhere in the world and nurture it until is strong enough to stand on its own.
- Visitation Sunday, November 17, 2019
- Funeral Mass Monday, November 18, 2019
Jo-Ann Ash Fairbanks
November 16, 2019
Jo-Ann was my first serious high school romance. We “went steady” (quaint by today’s standards, eh?) for my junior and senior year at Santa Clara High. I carried her books to her home on Robin Drive nearly everyday..we danced at the Youth Village facility (a huge dance floor that we pretty much wore out all by ourselves). Jo-Ann made me feel really good about myself, as in, if she loves me, I must be ok! I can still hear her wonderful laugh! She’s been in my dreams off and on since I met her…yikes! And believe this, if it’s possible in this day and age. We dated for a year before I kissed her. For me it was a combination of respect and shyness. I’m sure I waited about 51 weeks too long!
About 15 years ago she sent me a Happy Birthday e-mail and we’ve corresponded maybe once or twice. a year since then. I’ve been happily married for 38 years but I’ve always been interested in her life and what she was doing.
I missed my 50th high school reunion 10 years ago but I know about as many class of 1960 students (Jo-Ann being one of them) as 59ers, so I drove down to her reunion and we blabbed and danced until the wee hours of the morning. I had nothing illicit on my mind..I just wanted to catch up on her life..tell her about mine, and thank her for loving me back in the day. It was an unforgettable evening! I’ve also sent her an annual CD of the popular music I’ve arranged for choirs all over the world…pop, jazz, gospel, blues, Motown, Rock, folk..the works. Jo-Ann was a special lady and I'll carry her memories of our time together with me forever!