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Johanna S. DeSimone

1928 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Johanna S. DeSimone Obituary
Johanna S. DeSimone

AGE: 88 •

Johanna S. DeSimone passed away peacefully in Washington, D.C. on May 19 surrounded by family after a valiant battle with Parkinson's disease. She was 88.

Johanna was born to Hermance and Piet Schaepman, in the Netherlands on February 3, 1928, joining her brother Piet, and sister Hermance. She was raised in 's-Hertogenbosch, a city in the south of Holland. Johanna was trained and worked as a nurse in the Netherlands for several years before she immigrated to America, accompanying her brother Piet, who was posted at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C. She later moved to San Francisco at which time she was granted U.S. citizenship as well as her nursing license. There she met and married Stephen J. DeSimone, a widower with three daughters, Gus, Jo, and Sandy. While still in California, Steve and Johanna were blessed with a daughter, Stephanie Hermance and a son Mark Peter. In 1971, Johanna and family moved to Wilmington DE, though only for a year, as Steve's work for DuPont took them to Puerto Rico and then Mexico City. In 1975, the DeSimone family returned to Wilmington, DE. Johanna worked as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital. She was also a longtime volunteer at the Nemours Mansion and Gardens and an avid gardener known for her green thumb and for successfully maintaining a stunning 30-year-old gardenia bush. She was a member of the Occidentals and a dedicated parishioner at St. Joseph's on the Brandywine. Johanna retired from nursing though continued to provide loving care to her father-in-law Ralph DeSimone, and later, to her husband, Steve, as their health declined. After Steve's death in 1981, Johanna raised their children on her own. In 1999, she married Dr. Henry J. Leibu, first residing in Sedgley Farms, then moving to the Methodist Country House in Greenville, DE. She and Henry enjoyed social and sports activities as well as vacationing in Florida. Johanna cared for Henry as his Parkinson's disease progressed in the last years of their marriage, until his passing.

Shortly after her 83rd birthday, Johanna moved to Sunrise Senior Living on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. to be closer to her son, Mark and family. She was an active and well loved resident there until her untimely death. Johanna is predeceased by her parents, brother, sister and aunt. Survivors include: daughter Augusta, her husband Harry Clark and their sons Christopher, Timothy, and Stephen, San Antonio, TX; daughter Josephine and her husband William Johnson, Wilmington,DE; daughter Alexandra Ahrens and her husband Jack Johnson, Santa Monica, CA; daughter Stephanie, her husband Michael Dora and their children John, Stephen, and Michaela, Bismarck, ND; son Mark, his wife Bridget DeSimone and their sons Willem and Luca, Washington, DC; a stepson, Jacques Leibu, Simi Valley, CA; a stepdaughter, Katherine L. Cary, Suwanee, GA; and, three great grandchildren. Johanna is also survived by her niece, Hermance Schaepman, and daughter of her late cousin Loec de Stoppelaar, Mara Croese.

Friends are invited to attend a memorial service at The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, on Saturday, July 16, at 11:00am, 3630 Quesada Street NW, Washington, DC 20015. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family suggests a contribution to "Johns Hopkins University (or JHU)Parkinson's Research." In the memo of the check write "In Memory of Johanna DeSimone." Please have gifts sent attention to: Mike DeVito, Sr. Associate Director of Development Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, FJHM 550 Broadway Street, 9th Floor, Suite 914, Baltimore, MD 21205. Gifts Online may be made through: in Johanna's memory.
Published in The News Journal on June 8, 2016
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