JOANN CHOI POTTBERG
JoAnn Choi Pottberg died peacefully on April 13, 2021 in Palo Alto, CA, one day shy of her 80th birthday.
JoAnn is survived by her husband, Thomas Lee Pottberg; children: Stefania Pomponi of Palo Alto, CA, Peter Pomponi of Eugene, OR, Camille Paldi of Palo Alto, CA and Jill Paldi and her partner Humberto Bracho of Palo Alto, CA; her grandchildren: Isabella and Massimo (Peter); Anouk, Wallis and Dashiell (Stefania); Paloma and Severin (Jill); and her brother, Cedric Choi, and his wife, Patricia of Honolulu, HI. She is preceded in death by her parents, Wilbert and Flora Choi, and her brother, James Choi.
JoAnn was born in Honolulu, HI to Wilbert and Flora Choi. She graduated from Punahou School, and after spending a year at Simmons College in Boston, MA, returned to Hawai’i to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at the University of Hawai’i. JoAnn lived in Rome, Italy; Honolulu, HI, where she had her children; then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981. There, she met and married her best friend, Tom Pottberg, in 1987. JoAnn and Tom founded Met One Instruments, Inc., in 1989, and moved to Grants Pass, OR to establish their business. She loved taking care of clients, and thrived in the innovative startup culture.
Her children remember her as a fiercely protective, curious, generous, and loving mother who encouraged them to pursue their goals. She never said no to any lesson or interest they wanted to pursue, and encouraged them to nurture their talents and follow their passions. That is a gift for which her children will always be grateful.
JoAnn’s curiosity and sense of adventure was the guiding force of her life. She believed there wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. She kept up with decorative arts, fashion, and technology, and loved updating her Instagram account with photos of her grandchildren, and sharing funny TikToks via text with her family. She traveled all over the world, but held a special place in her heart for Italy. She was fluent in Italian, and loved spending time in Rome, eating, shopping, and visiting family.
She was a generous person who loved gathering with her friends and family, and making a new friend out of anyone she met. She could talk to anyone, and genuinely wanted to know everything about them. If she believed in you, you knew it. No one knew that more than her four children, and seven grandchildren, who were the absolute lights of her life.
Due to Covid, there will be no services. The family would like to thank the Choi/Choy families, and their extended ‘ohana for their kindness and loving support. The family also thanks the Palo Alto Fire Department, the caregivers at Stanford Hospital, and Jones Mortuary for their efforts and consideration.