Joan H. Whitsett passed away Sunday, May 4, 2014 at her home in Ashland, Ore., surrounded by her loving family. Born June 10, 1937, in Seattle, Wash., Joan was the youngest of three daughters of John Walker Johnson and Mabel Katherine Polk Johnson.
Joan grew up in Port Townsend, Wash., until her family moved to Henrietta, Texas, where she graduated from high school in 1955. Then she moved to Los Angeles, Calif. and studied commercial art at Harbor Junior College before deciding to pursue a degree in education at SOC in Ashland, Ore. In December 1958 Joan met Jerry Whitsett and they were married in Grants Pass, Ore., August 8, 1959. Later they moved to Corvallis, Ore., where Jerry attended Oregon State pursuing a degree in geology while Joan worked as a first grade teacher in Albany. After he graduated in 1962, the couple moved to Kingsville, Texas, where Jerry worked as a geologist. Their daughter, Robin, was born in Kingsville December 21, 1963. After two years of south Texas heat, the young family returned to Ashland, Ore., where their son, Clint, was born April 4, 1966.
Joan settled into their new home on Ashland Street where she devoted herself to raising her children. She enjoyed cooking and was always discovering new recipes to try on her family. She cherished her lifelong passion for painting which she and Jerry shared. Joan loved to paint still-life; especially flowers, fruits, and vegetables with vibrant colors. She also appreciated reading, skiing on Mt. Ashland, and camping all over Oregon.
After retirement Joan and Jerry purchased a vacation home in Bandon, Ore., with friends Judy and Bill Rupp.
Together they spent many weekends fixing up the house, golfing, bird watching, walking on the beach and painting. Later they joined the Art and Soul Gallery which allowed them to display their paintings for sale.
Joan found great joy in working at the gallery and her consistent sales kept her motivated to paint until her final days.
Joan and Jerry spent many years travelling to over 50 countries and painting what they saw. They also delighted in watching their grandchildren participate in sports activities and cheering them on. Joan and Jerry were alumni boosters of Southern Oregon University and regularly volunteered in fund raising for athletic programs.
Joan was a loving sister, wife, mother, and friend. She and Jerry were almost never seen apart from each other and often finished one another's sentences. They were fortunate to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren at the beach house in Bandon, Ore., a special time of loving memories that their family will always cherish.
After Jerry passed away in 2012, Joan began regularly attending services at the First Presbyterian Church where she found great comfort in the fellowship and the word of our Lord. Joan was an active P.E.O. for over 40 years helping to provide scholarships for women's educations.
Joan is survived by her daughter, Robin (Robert) Gregory of Grants Pass, Ore.; son, Clint (Amy) Whitsett of Spokane; and grandchildren, Brittany Warr of Sydney, Australia, Logan Warr of Ashland, Ore., Mallory Matoush of New York, and Katrina, Sophia, and Josephine Whitsett of Spokane, Wash.
Joan never wasted a breath on useless chatter or petty grievances. She was faithful, unselfish, generous, loving, humble, and brave. In short, she was everything a good sister, wife, mother, and friend should be and she will be missed.
The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to Chapter AC, P.E.O. (240 Skycrest Drive, Ashland, OR 97520) remembering all the compassion and support her sisters provided for her and her family.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 31, 2014, at the First Presbyterian Church of Ashland.