DeAnna Joy Wassom. Timeless. Ageless. Gone too soon!
DeAnna peacefully passed on the morning of January 30. Her partner of 18 years, Michaela Morgan, was by her side, and their “baby” fox terrier Chanel was at her feet.
I have lost the love of my life… We never talked about her passing as we focused on living and celebrating the daily “wins” no matter how small they were. We were just so happy being together and having this time.
We were true partners during the good and hard times of our 18 precious years together.
I would’ve kept soldiering on for her… but she chose her moment to leave this “human holiday.”
I know I must live for now.
In time she will be standing waiting to embrace me.
I look forward to that day.
For now, she wants me to continue living on without her physically here.
We have always said to each other “I love you to the moon and back…
both being moon birth signs
my comfort comes now from nightly
looking up at the moon humming Bruno Mars… “I’m talking to the moon…you’re on the other side… talking to me too.”
We loved traveling… Paris a favorite and planned a trip to Lucca, Italy in May.
We ran out of time.
I am so grateful for the last eight months.
My Girl is just Gone Too Soon!
Loved, admired, and adored, DeAnna was the “joy” brought into every room! She was a force of nature… standing at 5’11”… and that was without her Manolos.
DeAnna was a female icon in the tech world, a maven of marketing for Software.com, Openwave, Sonos, and HERBL. She truly loved her work and those who worked with her. Even during her last eight months of cancer treatment, she continued to work as HERBL’s Chief Marketing Officer with her beloved team cheering her on.
DeAnna was born in Sac City, Iowa to George and Maebeth Wassom. Her parents were natives of Sac City and met in grade school. Their firstborn child, who looked just like her “Daddy,” was the “joy” of their lives. That “joy” is what DeAnna brought into her world, surrounding everyone in its wake… whether at work, hiking, playing with the dogs, slalom waterskiing with her family in Iowa, rolling the dice at the craps table, or dancing to “September.”
Growing up in Iowa, her father worked for Gamaco, a concrete construction equipment company. So, DeAnna had summer jobs driving cement trucks to job sites. She attended Iowa State gaining two degrees in Design and Marketing.
DeAnna moved to Boulder, Colorado where she was hired by (now local) Tom Cullen to be Director of Marketing for a startup called Radish. When Tom relocated to Santa Barbara, he recommended DeAnna for a job at Metacreations. DeAnna moved to Santa Barbara and never looked back. Another Tom introduction, this time to John MacFarlane, led to a long career at Software.com and Openwave.
Then came Sonos. Cue the music. DeAnna joined a small but mighty team of seven in 2004 to create a revolutionary music system. She became Head of Global Marketing and over the course of 13 years traveled to Europe, China, and all over the United States. She loved every minute of her work. Her joy at Sonos was the music – always streaming – and the teams of people she worked with that were like family.
Always looking for adventure and challenge, DeAnna wanted to bring her marketing expertise to the newly legalized marijuana business. She became HERBL’s first CMO in 2019 and found another team of people that she just loved working with.
DeAnna lives on in the memories of those who had the pleasure to be her friend and colleague:
“DeAnna seemed larger than life 30 years ago when she walked through my door saying she wanted to get into Tech. Did she ever get into Tech! She was a force of nature that helped realize the dreams of three startups with good ideas to bring those innovations to the world. People often wondered why we seemed bigger than we were – we had a larger than life legend on our team.” – Tom
“DeAnna will still be felt gently tapping on the trajectory of my life. Still inspiring, still caring, still loyal, and still loving. I didn’t know it at the time, but my life would get better because of her. That was the thing about DeAnna. She made our lives better. And she will always do that for me.” – Mark
“Most people work to live. DeAnna lived to work. And she did it with gusto and passion and finesse. It was always a whirlwind, but a great one. I am honored to have been her client for 17+ years and to have been in her orbit for much of the ride.” – Julie
“DeAnna was a unicorn. I have never met anyone like her, and she was one of the most bad ass humans I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. A powerful woman in leadership, business, and life, she was a North star for many of us here at HERBL, and was loved and adored wherever she was. Great humans like her leave a permanent impression anywhere they go.” – Mike
“I am gently remembering all the wonderful times we all had together… the essence of DeAnna and the smokey sexy voice of hers… and being a tall drink of water… she was a force to be reckoned with… she was driven without a huge ego… she was ambitious but supportive of everyone’s wishes. She was a lover of the arts as well as caviar and champagne… she knew how to hit a golf ball and she was very self-aware and I always felt that she was an active listener, such an unusual quality.” – Mary
“I met DeAnna when I was 17, which means I’ve known her for almost 2/3 of the time I’ve been alive. She worked hard and played hard. A bad ass on both sides of the fence. My life was better for having known her. I sure miss her.” – Graham
“DeAnna was the greatest boss I ever had. She was also a genuine friend who made me feel supported every day and taught me how to kick ass at life. I’m humbled I even got a slice of her world, as everyone wanted to be a part of it. Stevie Nicks blasting, girl boots rocking, and razor-sharp intelligence are how she is lighted in my mind forever. I look forward to being as much like her as possible.” – Sam
DeAnna is survived by her partner Michaela, Chanel their puppy, and her family: Sonya & LaDon Johnson, Ed & Wendy Wassom, nephews Corbin Johnson (Ada & Lucca), Foster Johnson (Morgan), Rabin Walters (Laura), and Garrett Wassom.
Memorial Services will be held at All Sains-By-The-Sea on March 5 at 11 am with dancing to follow. DeAnna will be interred at the Sunrise Urn Garden of Santa Barbara Cemetery.
To leave an online memory or condolence, please visit www.wrhsb.com