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Joan Payne Smith Zillessen


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Joan Payne Smith Zillessen Obituary
Joan Zillessen, a third-generation Atlantan, died peacefully on December 2, 2017. She was born on May 12, 1925 to Alexander Wyly Smith, Jr. and Laura Payne Smith. Joan and her five siblings grew up in Buckhead. She was in the first graduating class of Christ the King High School, and she received a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, as an art major from Rosemont College in Philadelphia. Upon her graduation, she taught art for six years at Christ the King School. She married Walter "Skip" Zillessen in 1954.

Joan was a former President of the Mimosa Garden Club, a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, and a tireless volunteer for 50 years with the American Red Cross and for 40 years with St. Joseph's Hospital. She was a lifelong, faithful Catholic, singing in the choir at both Christ the King and Holy Spirit. In her later years, Joan loved to sing at the piano bar at McKinnon's Louisiane Restaurant in Buckhead. She is especially remembered for her rendition of Marlene Dietrich's signature song, "Falling in Love Again," complete with top hat and props. Joan will be truly missed by her many friends at McKinnon's as well as those at Calvin Court and Brighton Gardens. A special thank you to all the staff at Brighton Gardens who always treated her with heartfelt care and respect.

Joan is preceded in death by her husband, Walter Hardie Zillessen and by her siblings: Helen Smith Ayers, Laura Smith Clarke, Emily Smith Hill, Alexander Wyly Smith III, and her twin sister Carroll Smith Offen. She is survived by her daughters Jane Maynard (H.D.) of Southern Pines, NC and Alexa Goodman (Bob) of Atlanta. She was the grandmother of Kendrick Goodman, John, Ross (Carmen), and Clark (Lexie) Maynard, and the great-grandmother of Lina Maynard.

A funeral mass will be held on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Cathedral of Christ the King, followed by a reception at the church. If desired, donations may be made in her memory to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, through the Cathedral of Christ the King, 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, 30305.

Zillessen, Joan Payne Smith
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7, 2017
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