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Joanne Jorgensen Deatrick, who with her former husband operated a successful boat-building company in Toledo that contributed to transforming yachting locally from an exclusive sport of the rich to a leisure pursuit for the middle class, died Tuesday at Parkcliffe Alzheimer’s Community in Toledo.
She was 89.
Mrs. Deatrick was born Joanne Jorgensen, but known locally as Joanne Greene after her marriage to Raymond P. Greene.
She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was in ill health, family members said. She had been at Parkcliffe for two weeks.
Family and friends said Mrs. Deatrick was known for her charm and hospitality — often hosting grand holiday parties in the 1950s that attracted some of Toledo’s titans of business.
“They were very successful and in between the business, she was Mrs. Toledo, 1952,” said Kathy Greene, the oldest of Mrs. Deatrick’s three children.
She was referring to when Mrs. Deatrick was featured in The Blade in January, 1952, as the “Toledo Beauty of The Week.”
She was an avid sailor and a key part of her husband’s business, Ray Greene and Co. The firm produced the Rebel, a 16-foot fiberglass sloop model that still is raced throughout the United States.
Mr. Greene worked in his family garage but eventually owned a boat shop in the 500 block of Byrne Road, where he also researched design and construction under a Navy Bureau of Ships contract.
He also built aviation rescue boats for the U.S. Navy, buildings for use in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, and developed and constructed air boats used by the Toledo Area Sanitary District to spray for mosquitoes in marshes.
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Together the couple sailed for leisure and raced competitively in various regattas. They also sailed the Maumee River, in view of their River Road home.
Longtime friend Aggie McNaull of Perrysburg met Mrs. Deatrick because their husbands both sailed.
“There wasn’t a summer day we didn’t have a sailboat hitched to the car, heading to some lake or regatta,” Mrs. McNaull said. “We were young, it was right after the war, and it was a good time for us.”
Mrs. Deatrick was born in El Paso and moved to Long Beach, Calif., as a child with her parents.
She attended the University of Southern California, and she was a member of The Junior League of Long Beach.
She met Raymond Greene in 1945, when he was serving in the Navy and based at Terminal Island. They married later that year, one day before her 21st birthday.
Together, the couple moved to Toledo, where Mr. Greene already had an established business manufacturing sailboats.
“She was actively involved in the business, setting up boat shows, trailering sailboats wherever they needed to go, and in the early years, organizing regattas for the Rebel and Nipper class sailboats that Dad’s company manufactured,” Ms. Greene said.
Mrs. Deatrick founded and was president of the WinYacht Agency, a public relations and advertising agency that specialized in the marine industry. It chiefly dealt with Ray Greene and Co. business.
“One of the things that I am most proud of is that she was the first female on the Boating Industry of America’s Board of Directors, which is now the National Marine Manufacturers Association,” Ms. Greene said.
Much of their time was spent on the water.
“She was a sailor,” Ms. Greene said. “They had a Rebel regatta behind the house and the story goes that Mom went in the house, came back out and said, ‘Where is Kathy?’ And Dad was in the boat with me — six months old at the time.”
In 1952, Mr. Greene won the Inter-Lake Yachting Association regatta at Put-in-Bay.
“She would race with Dad mostly and by the time I got active in racing neither one of them was really racing,” Ms. Greene said. “I had a sailboat ... When you are making [boats] it’s like the shoemaker’s children. I had a Rebel, and just when I had it outfitted the way I wanted, my Dad said he had sold my boat.”
Kristina Kauffman, Mrs. Deatrick’s younger daughter, lauded her mother.
“She was gracious and she treated everyone equally,” Mrs. Kauffman said.
“It didn’t matter if you were the mailman or the president of a company, or a movie star. She made everyone welcome.”
The couple divorced in 1974 and Mrs. Deatrick moved back to California. There, she married John F. Deatrick later that year. Mr. Deatrick, who was originally from Defiance, where he owned an insurance agency, died in September, 1985.
Mrs. Deatrick remained in California after her second husband died, but moved back to Toledo in 2003.
Surviving are her daughters, Kathy Greene and Kristina Kauffman; son, Lance Greene; three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. March 21 in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Maumee.
Arrangements are by Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home in Maumee.
The family requests that memorial donations be given to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Maumee, and the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.