May 8, 1920-August 29, 2017
Joan Haber passed away August 29 at home in Kensington. She worked in her community and mentored others for over 70 years. Joan inspired and opened doors for people from all walks of life. She stayed active, skiing into her mid-80s and hiking all over the world with her husband of 65 years, Richard, who died in 2010.
Born in Woodmere, NY, to Aimee and Paul Mayer, Joan graduated from Vassar in 1941. Newly married, she moved to Honolulu. On December 6, 1941, Joan joined her husband, Ensign Charles M Stern, Jr, for dinner on board the USS Oklahoma. He died December 7 during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Joan made her way back to New York and worked at Grumman Aircraft during WW II testing flight instruments for fighter planes.
In 1945 she married Richard Haber. They moved to Kensington and raised three sons, Phil, Tom, and Jim. Inspired by a personal letter of condolence she had received from Eleanor Roosevelt urging her to get involved in her community and politics, Joan organized and managed school board, school bond, and Democratic Party election campaigns and was active with the PTA, League of Women Voters and Neighborhood House. After that, she chaired and served on Planned Parenthood and Richmond Emergency Food Pantry boards. After retirement, Joan and Richard travelled extensively, stayed Involved in the community and enjoyed their grandchildren. They maintained longtime friendships and made new friends of all ages.
Joan was a role model who led by example. She worked tirelessly for equal opportunity for all. She accepted death as she did life, with a clear eye and a sharp wit. We will all miss her.
Many thanks are owed to her loyal friends, and to her caregiver and friend, Ane Tauteoli, who was instrumental in maintaining the dignity and quality of her final years. Also, thanks to Ane's sister, Mele, and their family. Joan's beloved dog, Ella, was a constant companion and comfort.
Joan's husband, Richard, and son, Phil, predeceased her. She is survived by sons Tom (Jeanne), and Jim (Cheryl); grandchildren (Tom and Jeanne) Jesse (Jen), Mike (Melissa), Kristy; (Jim and Cheryl) Will (Chau) and Katie; greatgrandaughter Hailey (Jesse and Jen). Joan's strong family bonds extended to her beloved nieces and nephews and to her sister, Louise, and brother, Paul, who both predeceased her.
A celebration of Joan's life will be held Sunday, October 22, at 2:30PM, in Kensington at Arlington Community Church, in the Social Hall. Those wishing to make a contribution may consider the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry or Planned Parenthood.