Joan Nancy (Beehrman) Grine

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An enduring inspiration in grace, compassion and love, Joan Beehrman Grine, 89, died Friday, March 10, 2017, at Foxdale Village in State College, Pa. She was surrounded by her family.
Born Joan Nancy on Sept. 1, 1927, in Pittsburgh, she was the youngest of four siblings. Her adoring parents, the late Agness C. (Hulings) and Herman Beehrman, raised them in the city's Banksville area, where young "Joanie" indulged her mischievous tomboy streak and delighted in days spent at the Dormont Pool.
She took tremendous pride in her family, including brothers Herman E., who served in World War II and the Korean conflict, and Robert C., with whom she forged a tender and protective bond.
A 1945 graduate of Dormont High School, Joan worked briefly in Washington, D.C., before returning to Pittsburgh. A book drive in 1950 for the local Children's Hospital library highlighted her volunteerism: She chaired the program committee as part of the Dormont New Century Club Juniors, according to the Pittsburgh Press.
About three years later, another newspaper trumpeted her whimsical flirtation with Charles H. Grine in Downtown Pittsburgh. She was a fast-rising executive assistant on the 14th floor of the Koppers Building – and he worked on Gulf Tower's 14th floor, right across Seventh Avenue – when they began waving back and forth in the skyline.
"He had a friend whose wife knew her. They were properly introduced," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote after the pair wed Jan. 17, 1953, at the Dormont United Methodist Church. Joan and Charles, 91, who survives at Foxdale, were married 64 years.
Together they had three daughters and logged more than two decades of international travel, living three times in England and once in Bermuda before settling in rural Sigel, Pa., about 40 years ago. She was a voracious reader, artist, letter-writer, fantastic chef and appreciative observer of life, spotting nuance everywhere from quiet forest walks to world events.
Still, it was in her familial roles that Joan found her greatest pleasure and meaning. She cherished close, affectionate relationships with her husband, each daughter and each grandchild. She generously embraced friends, acquaintances and newcomers alike with warmth and joy, helping everyone she met to feel a sense of worth.
Her nurturing spirit built a foundation that binds her beloved family. Her wry humor, subtle irreverence and slapstick tendencies reduced three generations to tearful hysterics. A maverick, she wasn't afraid to fire her BB gun indoors at a stray bat – nor to impersonate Daffy Duck. She taught her daughters to treat potato-digging as a treasure hunt.
Several years ago, Joan and Charles moved from rural Sigel – and their Christmas tree farm there – to State College. They found in Foxdale a peaceful home of support. The Grine family thanks the entire Foxdale community for its friendship and tireless care.
In addition to her devoted husband, Joan is survived by her daughters, Suzanne Joan Grine of State College, Charlotte Grine (Robert I.) Friedman of Narberth, Pa., and Sally Grine of State College; three grandchildren, Daniel Friedman of New York, Emily Friedman of Philadelphia and Adam B. (Alexandria) Grine, nee Adam Smeltz, of Ingram, Pa.; and numerous nieces and nephews. Joan's brothers and sister, Mary Elizabeth Johnson, preceded her in death.
Memorial contributions may be made to a . The family is planning a private celebration of life.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at or visit us on Facebook.
Published in The Courier Express on Mar. 17, 2017