Joan, born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in essence was adventuresome, compassionate, intelligent, loving, loyal, and witty. She grew up in Weymouth where she was the first female sailing trophy winner. While training to be a nurse she met Ed Fernandez. They married in 1957 and spent over 62 years together. The Navy took them to Washington, D.C., Georgia and Mayport, Florida . Ed's civilian career then led them to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and finally California in 1969. Three children, Anne, Julia, and Randy arrived along the way.
Joan was a contributing breadwinner before and after the children were born. While living in San Rafael, Joan became manager of Terra Linda Art Association and a director and president of the Upper Lucas Valley Homeowners Association where she led a successful battle to purchase 320 acres of land and dedicate it to green space, a first in California. Joan went on to become a real estate broker owning two Century 21 franchises.
During all this time she led a very active athletic life often running and/or biking several miles a day. She loved anything to do with water whether bay, lake, or ocean. She loved to explore, hike, and beach walk. She loved the four Weimaraners they owned over the years. Joan became a slalom water skier and later set a family speed record of over 40 MPH being pulled on an air mattress. Her favorite vacation was dry camping and house boating on Lake Shasta. She enjoyed summers on Clear Lake and the Delta.
Joan and Ed moved to Novato in 1977 and later designed and built their dream home in Petaluma in 1987. Looking for a quieter place with lots of outdoor recreation they built an almost identical house in Sonora in 1997. Joan soon joined an aerobics class that eventually became a social group lasting nearly 20 years. She was an enthusiastic member of the Red Hats and the Sierra Foothills Women's Club. During this time Ed and Joan joined two RV clubs and traveled throughout the western United States and Mexico with many family visits back east. In 2007 they celebrated their 50th anniversary with a trip to Ireland from which both had ancestors, followed by a China trip in 2008.
Joan is survived by husband Ed, children Anne, Julie, Randy; and brother Dick. Memorial donations may be made to Cure Alzheimer's Fund (curealz.org