JoAnne Foster Mathis

December 6, 1939 - October 26, 2019
JoAnne Foster Mathis

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JoAnne Foster Mathis, 79, of Wilmington, North Carolina, passed away on Saturday, October 26, 2019.

JoAnne was born at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 6, 1939, to the late Bille McCorkle Foster and George Wesley Foster, Jr.  She was also preceded in death by her husband, Carl N. (Chick) Mathis, Jr., and her dog and best friend, Buster Mathis.

JoAnne attended Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia.  She also attended the University of Georgia, where she graduated in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.  In 1963, JoAnne went to work for the U.S. Department of Labor in Atlanta.  She was instrumental in opening the office in Wilmington, North Carolina, for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in 1965.  She worked as a wage and hour compliance officer until her retirement in June 2000.  

When she moved to Wilmington, JoAnne met her husband, Carl (Chick) Mathis.  They married on November 22, 1969.

JoAnne was a member of St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, Cape Fear Country Club, and Carolina Yacht Club.  She was a former member of the Cape Fear Garden Club.

Surviving are her daughter, Meredith Vance Mathis, of Alexandria, Virginia; sister, Judith Foster Tighe, and her husband, Bruce, of Laguna Niguel, California; nephew, Brett Foster Tighe, his wife, Heather, and their son, Barrett, of San Francisco, California.  JoAnne is also survived by Vermell Taylor who has been an integral part of the family since 1978.

The burial service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 31, 2019, at Oakdale Cemetery.  A memorial service will follow at 12 p.m. at St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church with a reception afterward.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church (1416 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401) or the charity of your choice.

JoAnne will be greatly missed by her family and friends.  Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535  S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403.  910.791.9099


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  • October 28, 2019
    Judy Smith says:
    JoAnne has been an important member of Circle #3 and we will all miss her terribly.

  • October 30, 2019
    Cameron says:
    JoAnne surely loved her daughter Meredith. I could see it in her eyes and smile!! What a lovely light she was. I’m so glad I got to meet her.

  • October 30, 2019
    Penny Longino Sullivan says:
    I met JoAnne when her family moved to Marietta, GA and we were friends through our years at Marietta High and beyond. She was always a bright light and a cheerful companion.

  • October 30, 2019
    Penny Longino Sullivan says:
    Great memories of Joanne's smile and laughter throughout our years at Marietta High School.

  • October 30, 2019
    Mrs. Pat Powell Prewett lit a candle:
    Lit since October 30, 2019 at 10:43:07 PM