Joan Lees, 87, died March 19 in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Joan earned a BA from Brooklyn College and a Masters in Social Work from Fordham. She was an active volunteer and religion school teacher at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, New York. She worked as a social worker, including tenure at the Alzheimer’s Association. She was a lifelong learner, diligent internet researcher, and frequent emailer.
When Richard and Joan moved to Maryland in 2007, she became involved in the local Hadassah chapter, the Jewish Residents of Leisure World, a lecture group, a writing group, two reading clubs, a Torah study group, and Scrabble. She and Richard loved classical music concerts and the theater, although they disagreed about opera and Tchaikovsky. She wrote wonderful short stories from incidents in her life (and others’) and made great strides towards finishing a novel. She was a late devotee of Ba Duan and chair yoga. She shared a passion for writing and analyzing poetry with her younger grandchild, and a love of dogs with the older one, and is grateful to Matt and Susan for raising such fine young men. Matt and Peter were always able to bring out her understated, wry, witty, classy sense of humor, and she took with grace and pride the term “Trooper” bestowed upon her by Peter. She has great memories of traveling to Israel, Napa Valley, Paris, London, and Taiwan to visit the adult children.
Inspired by Diana’s late dog Happy, she combined her social work training and general kindness and volunteered for Pets Add Life http://www.petsaddlife.org that helped people grieve the loss of their pets.
She is survived by Richard, her husband of 54 years, brother Noel and sister in law Claire, brother in law Robert and sister in law Ann, daughter Diana, husband Rich, daughter Rhonda, son Peter, son Matthew, daughter-in-law Susan, grandsons Josh and Jake, grand-cat Frankie and grand-dog Stella.
A fund has been set up at the Hadassah office in memory of Joan Lees. If you wish to send a contribution, please send a check payable to Hadassah, to Hadassah Greater Washington 11900 Parklawn Drive, #350, Rockville, MD 20852.