Joan (Brooks) Wooldridge
WOOLDRIDGE, Joan Brooks. The family of Joan Brooks Wooldridge, M.D. is deeply saddened to announce our beautiful mother and loving wife passed away on April 3, 2020, at Lucy Corr Nursing Home. On April 10, 1953, the late George Kirby Brooks Jr. and wife, Edith Beirne, welcomed their second daughter, Joan Estelle Brooks. Joan was an exceptionally bright student and a talented pianist. She loved boating, swimming and water skiing on the Mattaponi River with her siblings, Frances Keith (Joel), G. Kirby Brooks III (Debbie) and Martha Murphy; her best friend and first cousin, the late Julie Beirne; and many more cousins. She graduated from Marymount High School in 1971. Joan continued her studies in piano performance and pedagogy at Trinity University in Washington, D.C., where she graduated with honors with a bachelor’s in music in 1975. During her graduate studies in music at the Catholic University of America, Joan started dating James Walter Wooldridge Jr. They were married at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, on May 6, 1978. Joan cherished her in-laws, the late James Walter Wooldridge Sr. and wife, Margaret Mary, Margaret Bailey (Bob), Bill Wooldridge and the late John Wooldridge. Joan and Jim were admitted to Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1981, five months after welcoming their first son, James Walter III (Connie Saunders). They graduated medical school in July of 1984, and in August, welcomed their second son, David Carr. Joan was matched into the Pediatric Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia. At the end of her residency in February of 1987, Joan delivered her third son, Thomas Matthew. Joan, Jim and the three boys moved back to Richmond, Virginia, where Joan started working with Dr. Burch at Saint Mary’s Hospital. In January of 1989, Joan’s daughter arrived, Katharine Rose (Erik Geisert). Joan worked at Chippenham Hospital in the Pediatric ER from 1993 through 1994 and at the Pediatric Clinic at LSU in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1995 through 1998. She retired from practicing medicine to provide one-on-one rehabilitation for a family member. In October of 2012, Joan proudly became a grandmother to Brixten Estelle Wooldridge. Throughout her life, she was a dedicated aunt to her nieces and nephews, Melissa Keith Young (Norman), Anna Keith Tunnell (Aaron), Sara Keith Samsa (Tim), Erin Brooks Rowe (Fletcher), Emily Brooks, Sean Murphy and Matthew Murphy. Joan loved working with children. She was a kind Director of the Children’s Choir at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans in Shreveport, Louisiana, yet formidable enough to cause her then six-year-old daughter to hide under the piano during rehearsal. She was devoted to her faith and the musical tradition in the Catholic Church. Joan volunteered in the music ministry at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, Cathedral of St. John Berchmans in Shreveport, Louisiana and St. Edward’s Catholic Church in North Chesterfield, Virginia. Joan encouraged her children to study stringed instruments. All her kids participated in middle and high school orchestra programs, the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program, studio recitals and concerto competitions. Many went on to participate in all county, regional and all state orchestras. Joan never missed a concert. She volunteered to play piano for the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program’s String Sinfonietta from 2000 until 2004. Joan also played piano for the Richmond Symphony Concerto Competition in 2002. Joan was an avid gardener, a wonderful cook and a skilled raconteur. She was very devoted to her family, church and profession. In view of coronavirus restrictions and current safety measures, a memorial service honoring Joan will be announced later.