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Joan Connelly Garrett

1932 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Joan Connelly Garrett Obituary
Garrett, Joan ConnellyAug. 6, 1932 - June 22, 2018Joan Connelly Garrett, longtime San Marino resident who more recently lived in Atascadero, passed away peacefully on June 22, 2018 in Templeton, CA due to complications from pulmonary disease. Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) was 85 years old.Twin daughter of the former Mr. & Mrs. Jack J. Connelly of San Marino, Joan was born in Los Angeles and moved from San Gabriel to San Marino when she was 10 years old. Joan attended San Marino's Valentine & Huntington Schools, and graduated from South Pasadena-San Marino High School (SPSMHS) in 1950. At SPSMHS, Joan was a Tigerettes song leader and honored to be chosen to ride on South Pasadena's entry in the 1950 Rose Parade. Joan helped spearhead many Class of '50 reunions throughout the years.In 1952, Joan graduated from Stephen's College in Missouri with a degree in fashion design. She worked briefly for PG&E in South Pasadena before moving to the Bay Area and working for Bank of America in Redwood City while her high school classmate and sweetheart, Robert Driscoll Garrett (Bob), finished up at Stanford University.Joan and Bob married on June 19, 1954 at Saint Therese Catholic Church in Alhambra. The couple spent one year in Green Bay, Wisconsin, while Bob played football for the Packers, then two years in Merced while he completed his service commitment at the Strategic Air Command at Castle Air Force Base. After completion of Bob's USAF duty and a brief NFL comeback attempt, the couple, by then parents of their first child, moved back to the San Gabriel Valley area.Joan held seemingly every office in the local PTA as her four children made their way through Carver School, Valentine School, Huntington School and San Marino High School. In 1967, Joan was chosen for inclusion in the 1967 edition of "Outstanding Young Women of America" due to her community involvement and volunteerism. A charter and board member of the San Marino Tennis Foundation, Joan loved competitive tennis, especially doubles. She served as the Grad Night Chairman for San Marino High School in 1973. Joan and Bob were members of San Marino Community Church and took great joy in belonging to the Twigbenders church group. In 1975, Joan began an 18-year tenure as the City of San Marino's Recreation Director. She oversaw the creation of numerous successful recreation programs catering to all ages, including the San Marino Swim Team (the Tsunami) and the youth summer day camp known as the Lacy Park Freewheelers, identified by distinctive, safety-oriented tall orange flags attached to the campers' bicycles as they biked around town. Joan retired as Recreation Director in 1992.After Bob's sudden passing in December 1987, Joan fulfilled their flying ambition by earning her wings in 1988. By 1992, Joan was piloting her four-seater Piper Dakota all over the western United States, often with her children, grandchildren and friends in tow. Although she refrained from demonstrating any aerobatics to her family passengers, she did complete the course!Joan remained active in the local chapter of Over the Hill Gang International, which she and Bob had joined, delighting in hiking, biking and white water rafting excursions, and skiing into her mid-70s. Sailing with friends always thrilled her, dating back to summers spent on Balboa Island.Affectionately known as "Wan" or "Waneewan," Joan was an avid traveler. In 2000, Wan biked through Ireland with daughters Terri, Cathi and daughter-in-law Maureen. She visited Africa, Europe, Machu Picchu and Alaska several times, where she flew and landed a seaplane. Family vacations created many special memories, particularly those at Black Butte Ranch in Oregon, Bass Lake and especially a 2008 trip to Alaska with most of her children, grandchildren and her first great-grandchild.For many years, Joan lovingly and patiently cared for daughter Terri after she suffered a brain aneurysm in 2001. Terri eventually moved to a care facility in San Luis Obispo. In 2010, Joan's own scare with a brain aneurysm ended her flying days and she moved to a lovely cottage she designed and built in Atascadero to be closer to some of her family.Joan was predeceased by her parents Jack J. & Josephine S. Connelly, younger brother Jack C. Connelly, twin sister Patricia Connelly Herzog, and brothers-in law Richard Vaillancourt and Anthony J. Garrett. Joan is survived by her son Chuck and his wife, Connie, of Pacific Grove, and their sons, Bobby and CJ, and his wife, Maria; daughter Terri Garrett Thayer of San Luis Obispo, and her children, Kaity Thayer Gould and her husband, Gabe, and their four children, Jack, twins Rebekah & Benjamin, and Anabelle, and Kevin Garrett Thayer and his wife, Rachel, and their daughter, Lola; son Bill and his wife, Maureen, of San Carlos, and their children, Colleen, Shannon and Brian; daughter Cathi Garrett Casebolt and her husband, Rob, of Atascadero, and their two sons, Robert and his wife, Taylor, and Dylan and his wife, Sarah; sister-in-law Joan Vaillancourt of Redding, Connecticut; brothers- and sisters-in-law John C. Garrett and his wife, Carolyn, of Newport Beach, and James J. Garrett and his wife, Maria Rivera, of Lafayette; and numerous nieces and nephews.One of Wan's great joys was being up in the sky and looking down at the crowded freeways and beautiful landscape, feeling in control and deliciously free. Now, she is doing so from a greater vantage point, with her beloved Bob by her side. Waneewan will be sorely missed but lovingly remembered as thoughtful, selfless, generous, vibrant, fun-loving and kind.A Celebration of Life will be held at San Marino Community Church on August 3, 2018 at 1:00 p.m., followed by a reception. A private interment at San Gabriel Cemetery will precede the Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any gifts may be made to The Robert D. Garrett Memorial Scholarship fund at Stanford University or to the .Please sign the guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/pasadenastarnews. WL00167750-image-1.jpg
Published in Pasadena Star-News on July 13, 2018
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