Joan Wallace Gartland
1941 - 2017
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Joan Wallace Death of a Poet: Joan Wallace Gartland, 75, passed away on July 5,2017 in Rochester Hills Mi. Born in Brooklyn, New York on December 24,1941. Joan attended Delphi Academy and Barnard College. She graduated with honors, receiving a BA in History in 1963. Joan continued her studies at the University of Chicago and in 1968 received her MA in Egyptology. In 1971 she received an additional MA in Library Science from the University of Michigan. Joan worked as a librarian at the University of Detroit, the Tannahil Research Library in Greenfield Village and Macomb College.In 2007, she retired as the Manager at Bowen Branch Library in Detroit . Joan was very active in Detroit's poetry scene. Her own collection of work titled, A Passionate Distance, was published in1991. She was co-editor of the feminist cultural journal Moving Out from 1978-1998. Joan was also a long time reviewer for Library Journal. She volunteered at Crossroads, taught Hieroglyphics at the WMCA and led free poetry workshops in Detroit. Hailing from Brooklyn and speaking with an English accent, Joan was a delightfully eccentric person with many layers. Although she was a career librarian, she easily broke out of her serious role for any and all social occasions. She livened up the room with her sing song voice, animated worldly discourse and her signature jubilant laugh. Joan was an exceptionally kind and caring person who will be dearly missed. She is survived by four nieces and nephews and several grand nieces and nephews. A 3pm memorial service will be held Sunday, August 6, 2017 at St John's Episcopal Church, 26998 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI. There will also be a reception to remember Joan and her poetry on Friday, August 11, 2017 from 5pm to 9pm, at Cass Corridor Commons, 4605 Cass Ave, Detroit MI 48201. Memorials may be made to Crossroads of Michigan.

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Published in The Detroit News & Detroit Free Press on Jul. 23, 2017.
Memorial service
03:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
August 12, 2017
Joan Gartland was a true friend. Practiced what she preached quietly and kindly. Supported musicians, artists, poets in any way she could. We shared many talks about Egypt, mythology, Mircea Eliade, books, and above all, cats. We worked together at the Detroit Public Library and remained friends for decades. Am so grateful to have known her. May Bastet bless.
Anna Savvides
August 6, 2017
I came to know Joan because my mother also lived at the same senior facility with her. She was always ready to have a lively conversation with you on almost any topic, her favorites being Egypt and her love of actor Russell Crowe. I would sometimes bring movies for the residents to see and made sure to have one with him just for her enjoyment. I will remember that she talked with a slight English accent despite coming from Brooklyn. There was hardly a silent moment with Joan always ready to chat. She was much more than l realized after reading about her life. You will be missed!
Ruth Rivard
August 4, 2017
Joan was such a lovely lady. I worked with her at the University of Detroit Library during the late 1970's and was fortunate to remain friends with her until her death. She had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh and was a wonderful boss - always kind and patient. I'll always remember a William J. Harris quote on her desk (which was always messy) that said "Neatness, madam, has nothing to do with the truth. The truth is quite messy, like a windblown room."
Rest in peace, Joan. I love you.
Rosemary Spatafora
August 2, 2017
I could always rely on Joan to cheer me up. We discussed the latest ridiculous political news, went to the Hilberry Theater and to the movies, and were colleagues at Detroit Public Library and Moving Out magazine. She was a reliable friend and confidant and I'll miss her so much.
Margaret Kaminski
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