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JoAnn Patricia Schardt Sterritt, 76 of Savannah, Georgia and wife of William “Bill” John Sterritt, died Wednesday morning, May 25, 2022, at Oaks at Habersham after a courageous battle with early onset dementia.

Born in Hermosa Beach, California, JoAnn was the daughter of the late LTC Bruton Burke Schardt, U.  S. Army (Ret.) and the late Florence Gargan Schardt and lived in many locations throughout the United States as well as in the Philippines as part of her father’s military and civilian service.

JoAnn graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia, attended Immaculata College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then graduated from college at the University of Minnesota. After college she started a career in retail management, became a substitute teacher, then a floral designer and flower shop manager, and her latest job was as a customer service representative for a national property management company.

Along with her husband and three children, JoAnn relocated to a number of cities in the southeast due to her husband’s career, eventually moving to Savannah, Georgia in 2001. In Savannah, JoAnn was a devoted volunteer of The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist and was presented the Bishop Gartland Award in 2017 for her outstanding service to the Cathedral. Calling upon her years as a floral designer in the Tampa area, JoAnn also assisted with the decorations and flowers in the Cathedral, especially at Christmas and Easter.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Samuel Brian Stewart.

Survivors include her husband of 52 years, Bill Sterritt; one daughter, Amy Elizebeth Lavery and her husband, Ronald; two sons, Adam Burke Sterritt and his wife, Kimberly, and Ryan Michael Sterritt and his wife, Angela Nichols; six grandchildren, Elizabeth “Libby” Lavery, Catherine “Catie” Lavery, William “Will” Sterritt, Samuel “Sammy” Sterritt, Clementine Sterritt, and Grey Sterritt; one sister, Susan Schardt Stewart; one brother, the Reverend William “Bill” Burke Schardt, as well as nieces and a nephew.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 o’clock Friday morning, June 3, 2022, at The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist conducted by the Reverend J. Gerard Schreck and the Reverend William B. Schardt. Interment will be in the Greenwich section of Bonaventure Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Association – Suite 103, 4849 Paulsen Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405-4424 ( or Hospice Savannah Foundation – Post Office Box #13190, Savannah, Georgia 31416-0190 (

Online Condolences

  1. Cecilia Cannon says:

    So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
    C.C. Schardt Cannon

  2. Alan and Merle says:

    Not much more to say than we haven’t already talked about. That is a nice picture of a wonderful woman. We wish you and your family peace.

  3. Cousin Val says:

    There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate….of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death. ~ Oliver Sacks

    JoAnn was a vital branch of our family tree, and her memory will live on in the many little Sterrits that have sprouted!

  4. Kathleen Albrecht says:

    Thank you for your kindness in letting us know, that JoAnn has moved on to her new life. My memories of her are many, varied and all bring a smile. Her job at Daytons at Southdale in Minneapolis: her living with us for a few months and always making sure the door to her messy room was closed tightly; her worry about her credit score; her love of family and friends. She was one of a kind….the very best kind. Hugs from Minnesota to the family. Kathy & Matt

  5. Jan Cunningham says:

    Bill I was so very sorry to hear, while in Kansas with my father, that you have lost Joann. And yet I know you lost her in many little ways long ago. But doesn’t make it easier. My favorite memory of Joann was meeting you both and talking with you at parish suppers. She was fun. You were an amazing caregiver and your love for her was always obvious. I’m sorry I won’t be home in time for her service. Blessings to you and your children.

  6. Malcolm Gibb says:

    Sorry to hear of JoAnn’s passing, but we appreciate your letting us know. Our prayers are with you and the family at this time.
    Mal and Liz

  7. Gretchen Kohrt Reese says:

    Bill, I think you know what a blessing it has been to me to have been a friend of JoAnn and of you, ever since you came to the Cathedral. We shared so many challenges and experiences together, especially all the Heritage Ball efforts, serving at Mass, counting together and even stuffing envelopes all those years! I will never forget JoAnn’s steadfast support in everything undertaken, her dry sense of humor, and her positive attitude. God blessed you with a wonderful wife and all of us at the Cathedral with a very thoughtful, encouraging and personable friend and helper in the God’s Great Vineyard. She will be greatly missed!

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