Joan Louise Weldon Podell
August 5th, 1930 - February 11th, 2021
With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Joan Louise Weldon Podell, a loving and devoted mother, wife, grandmother and dear friend, on February 11 th , 2021. She passed away peacefully at her home in Fort Lauderdale, FL. A talented and successful opera singer and actress of theatre, film, musicals and television, she was simply known to many as Joanie, whose love for light-hearted pranks and practical jokes spread joy wherever she went.
Born in San Francisco on August 5 th , 1930, Joan was left motherless at six years old and was raised by her grandmother Olio Cornell. Joan made her professional debut at sixteen, with the San Francisco Opera company, the youngest singer under contract. Tireless and hardworking, within a year she made six pictures from 1953-1954 (The System; The Grace Moore Story; The Stranger Wore a Gun; The Command; Riding Shotgun; and Them! (an Academy Award nominee) other movies included Day of the Bad Man, and Home After Dark. As the first performer on the stage at the New York State Theater/ Lincoln Center, she also held leading roles in stage productions such as The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Kean, The Merry Widow, Desert Song, Oklahoma, and Carousel. Curious, open minded, determined and always up for anything, her infectious love for life was paired with a firm understanding of what was important– the simplicity of living a life with those you love.
A caring and beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, Joan will be remembered by her husband of 56 years, Dr. David L. Podell Jr., her daughter, Melissa (Jack Weinand) of Paris, France, her grandchildren Sienna, Alexander, and Ella, and stepdaughter Claudia (Frank MacGruer) of Lenox. MA., and family Richard and Carolyn Harcourt, Nancy Bouton, Tara Kadium and Rick Sand. A vibrant and elegant lady, she will be dearly missed by all those who knew this wonderful and extraordinary woman.
MEMORIAL at THE BRICK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, LIVESTREAMING, March 13th, 12 o'clock EST
In memory of JOAN PODELL, Donations can be made to the BRICK CHURCH WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 3 to Mar. 7, 2021.