Joan Julia Shaheen
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age 86, beloved by her family, cousins, and friends, passed away on Dec. 2, 2013 in Canton, Ohio. Born in Indianapolis, Ind. in 1927 to Nicholas H. and Julia (David) Shaheen, Joan was a model of caring and kindness. As a child, she lived in Canton, Ohio with her parents and sisters, and was suppported by her extended family of cousins, uncles, and aunts after her mother passed away in 1939. She graduated from Lehman High School, where she was the editor of the Lehman Journal and elected to the National Honor Society. She attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and after her marriage to Salem Kaleel Shaheen in 1947 she graduated from Brooklyn College.
Joan was the loving mother of five children, Miranda, Pablo, Chris, Amy, and Franklin. After raising their children in Canton, Joan and Salem moved to Evanston, Ill. and Joan went to work at the Northwestern University Library, where she worked for 25 years. In their final years, Joan and Salem moved back to Canton to be among their relatives and enjoy their friendship. Joan was a great reader, a lifelong learner who studied Italian in her 70's, a writer and published poet and the editor of a book of letters from her cousins. She and Salem loved the theater and made many trips to New York to see Broadway musicals and plays. In Canton, they were wonderful hosts who always had a houseful of of cousins eating, playing whist, and celebrating holidays. Joan also did volunteer work, helping children to read and to appreciate art at the Canton Cultural Center. Joan was preceded in death by her sister, Adele Freije and her husband, Salem, her loving friend and inseparable companion for 66 years, who died two months before her.
She is survived by her sister, Margaret; her siblings from her father's second marriage, Nicholas, Nadia Swade, Noor Kreit, and Nasser; her five children; nine grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
Family and friends may call Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. George Syrian Orthodox Church (1122 Cherry Ave. NE) where services will be held at 11 a.m. with Father Michael Corbin officiating. Interment will take place at Westlawn Cemetery. Donations in her name may be made to a
. Those wishing to send their condolences or share a fond memory may sign the Reed On-Line Guestbook at
Published in The Repository on Dec. 4, 2013