Sierra Vista, Ariz. - On Dec. 5, 2013, Joan A. Nickel passed away in her home in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
Joan was born on Aug. 26, 1926, to Orville W. and Louise M. (Arzt) Hutchinson in Flushing, N.Y.
In 1950, Joan married Herbert A. Nickel at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. They settled in Connecticut where they remained for 51 years. It was there that they raised their only son, Christopher. Her final years were spent in Sierra Vista.
Joan was a gifted musician. She had a beautiful singing voice and performed in many traditional English and Appalachian folk venues. She performed professionally with her neighbor in North Stonington as the folk duo Westron Wynde for a decade in folk venues ranging from Boston (WGBH) to Lincoln Center's famous Damrosch Park Summer Music Festival. She shared her love of all things English as the co-founder of the Mystic Garland Long Sword and Morris Team for a quarter century. She became known as the beloved "Queen" and brought her wry sense of humor and vitality to the intricate patterns of the sword, morris, clog, and garland dances she so loved. Joan shared her love of music and dance with her husband, Herb. Together they traveled and performed their music and dance at festivals and folk venues in New England and Canada and were well known for their skills and engaging presence on and off the stage.
An avid bird watcher, reader, and nature lover, Joan was also known for her wonderful cooking and gardening skills. Joan was dearly loved and will be missed by her many, many friends.
She is survived by her sister, Phyllis A. Bevington and family; her loving husband, Herb; and daughter-in-law, Linda Whitham and family.
Published in The Day on Dec. 31, 2013.