Joan P. Chalmers
Joan Chalmers, age 79, of Champlin passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, August 3, 2011. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1931, Joan and her family witnessed the Pearl Harbor attacks on December 7, 1941 from the windows of their home overlooking Diamond Head. Joan attended Roosevelt High School for two years where she met Dick Chalmers, who would later become her husband. A lucky twist relocated both of them to Hilo High School, where they became high school sweethearts. Dick left Hawaii to attend college in California; in the two years they spend apart they wrote letters to each other every day. After one year of college in Hawaii, Joan transferred to San Jose State College to study Library Science and to be closer to Dick. In 1953, Dick and Joan were married in San Jose, California. Although their parents could not attend the couple wore leis to honor their Hawaiian roots. Joan graduated from college in 1953 and worked briefly as a school librarian before having two children, Eric and Rae.
Joan’s passion for the arts blossomed in the 1960’s when she studied ceramics and later taught pottery classes at a small in-home studio. Her work in clay was deeply satisfying too her. When Dick’s job moved the family from California to Wisconsin and then to Minnesota, Joan became an integral part of the arts community in each state- first, at the Firehouse Fine Arts Center in Cedarburg, Wisconsin and then with the Minnesota Crafts Council. In 2002 Joan received an award for her arts advocacy from the Minnesota Citizens of the Arts and was very proud and honored to have received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Crafts Council. Joan also served on Champlin’s Environmental Resource Commission for many years and volunteered with the Champlin Historical Society.
After Dick retired, he and Joan travelled around the world, visiting Indonesia, Greece and Turkey. The two often returned to Hawaii to visit family, friends and their childhood stomping grounds. At home in Champlin, Joan was an avid gardener and active member of the Champlin Garden Club.
Joan is survived by her husband of 59 years, Dick Chalmers; son, Eric (Nancy) Chalmers and their children Ryan and Kristen; daughter, Rae (Tom) McLaughlin and their children Alison and Lauren. The family would like to thank all of Joan’s friends across the country who contributed to and enjoyed Joan’s infectious laugh.
Memorial service will be held on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 10 AM, at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Ave South, Minneapolis. Private interment in Hawaii.
If so desired, memorials may be directed to Library Foundation of Hennepin County in Memory of Joan Chalmers.