Family and Friends Gather to Remember a Remarkable Friend and Colleague

Michael J. Arvizu

More than 200 people gathered in the Glendale Community College auditorium Feb. 8 to remember Jonnie Weaver, who died Jan. 1 at 56.

“We have lost one of the finest people that has ever graced this campus,” said President John Davitt. “No one has made such an impact on this school as Jonnie has.”

The auditorium stage was flanked by pictures chronicling Weaver’s life, from when she was pregnant with her son Robert in 1973, to when she was with the editorial staff of the faculty newsletter, “Chaparral,” which she helped start.

Weaver’s friend Sheila Henderson came from San Francisco to begin the memorial by reading an elegy written by Weaver’s son, Robert, a month after her death:

“Thirty-four days. I could never have imagined that you and I would spend that long without talking to each other … I told you, you were always the best mom even when you thought you weren’t .Why did you leave? … The world isn’t quite the same without you.”

Weaver’s boss, Visual and Performing Arts Chair Kathleen Burke-Kelly, said Weaver was a woman who never refused a task. “When we were able to create the administrative position in [the] animation [department], I prayed that we would find someone with Jonnie’s talents,” she said. “I was thrilled when she wanted the job.”

Lynn McMurry, dance department chair and Faculty Guild president, recalled when his friend was hired as the Academic Senate and Faculty Guild secretary. Even during the hiring process, he said there was no doubt that Weaver would be perfect for the job.

McMurry said that at first there was a lack of availablespace, so Weaver willfully gave up her office to the Classified union.

Her first task as secretary of the guild and senate was to write governance updates. It was from those updates that “Chaparral” emerged. Weaver went on to edit the “Chapparal” and to always good-naturedly nudge contributors to get their stories in.

“I promise I will get my article in today,” McMurry said to new editor Phyllis Hoover. “This one has been very hard to write because I will not be sending this one to Jonnie.”