Women’s History Employee Spotlight: Joanna Dunki-Jacobs
I’ve been in the mortgage business for 20 years and Women’s History Month means a lot to me.
I was very fortunate to be the daughter of a very strong mother. She was a huge influence in my life and was the perfect role model—mainly because she was always so positive, strong, hardworking, super compassionate, empathetic and success driven. She was a great loving mother to all of her children, and we all had the best example of how to survive in this crazy world.
My mother was born in the Dutch East Indies and led a charmed, high-society life as a child. However, that didn’t last long because in 1929 the stock market crash came, and her father (my grandfather) lost everything. My mother learned at an early age that riches don’t necessarily last.
Mom saw her parents become very resourceful and found other ways to make a living. She also lived through World War II. After Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, my mother and grandmother were put in a Japanese concentration camp for over three years. They barely survived the camp after suffering from all kinds of diseases and near starvation. This horrific time made my mother very strong.
From then on, mom vowed that if she could survive the war, she could survive anything! Growing up, my siblings and I were told all the horrors of the war and we were in awe that our parents even survived. They learned to survive at all costs.
My Mom was never afraid of anything, and she taught her children to be fearless. She said, “You can do anything you put your mind to do.”
As we all know, the Allies freed the prisoners of war, so my parents and grandparents moved to Holland just as another war was erupting with the natives of what soon became known as Indonesia.
Even though my parents lost everything during the war, my mom was so resilient that she didn’t have second thoughts about packing up and starting over again. Once in Europe, the Cold War started. My parents wanted no part of another war, so they packed up the kids and immigrated to the wonderful USA!
Once we landed in the states, we moved numerous times—from the East Coast to the West Coast. The moves were made with great energy and enthusiasm because my parents were grateful to be in the USA.
At 40-years-old, my mother received her Registered Nurse Degree. Prior to that time, mom was a Licensed Vocational Nurse, so she spent the energy to upgrade her career.
Mom was fearless and daring, so in her 60s she got her private pilot license. She had absolutely no fear! My mother worked as an RN until her early 70s—and loved every minute of it.
My mother was not only smart and energetic, but she had grace, beauty and talent. Mom could paint, sing opera, and she taught ballet. She had a magnetic personality and loved to entertain family and friends. She was also very politically inclined and attended many presidential conventions for the Republican Party. She always did what she could to catapult the politicians she wanted in office.
Mom wanted to live with me in sunny Clayton, California so we stayed together the last six years of her life. We had so much fun together, and I was so glad to give her a happy home with dogs and caregivers. She never got dementia and was sharp as a tack until the very end.
My mother gave me wonderful gifts—she showed me what it is to be strong, resilient, fearless, and just be a good human being. She was an inspiration to me, and I often look back at everything she taught me, which made me the woman I am today.
As a result, I had the courage to raise two sons on my own and still be successful in my business and personal life.
Sadly, my mom recently passed away, but I have many wonderful memories of an absolutely awesome, loving mother. She was my inspiration and always will be!
Looking to buy? Visit Joanna’s website to get connected and begin the conversation of getting you home!