Joan Downie

November 13, 1930 - February 15, 2024

Joan Downie

November 13, 1930 - February 15, 2024


Joan Downie of Goodyear, AZ passed away peacefully with her husband Don and family by her side on February 15, 2024.

Joan was born on November 13, 1930. She grew up with her sister Jean in Wisconsin before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Beeman sisters were as close as any sisters could be. When they were little Jean would look after Joan and that was reciprocated by Joan in adult life.

After graduating from high school in Ann Arbor, Joan went to the University of Michigan where she joined Gamma Phi sorority and was active on campus on the JHop committee that planned a weekend of big band dances and entertainment. She and Don first met after they were both elected and worked to plan the big event.

Alter graduating from college, Joan went on to work for McGraw Hill in the marketing department in Detroit. She also lived with and cared for her father during this time.

Meanwhile, after Don lost his first wife, they struck up a long distance romantic relationship that eventually led to marriage. By that time, Don’s 3 kids were teenagers.

Joan was thrust into the chaos. She learned to snow ski and golf, and they traveled extensively overseas with their friends and family. She claimed she couldn’t sing so she could avoid the spotlight in Don’s favorite activities—karaoke and Christmas caroling!

Once the girls were gone, they moved to Scenic Lake where they spent the majority of their married life. For someone who didn’t swim she wasn’t really excited about the idea. But once they moved there she joined the neighborhood association and eventually served on the board there, while forging bonds with neighbors and enjoying the beautiful wildlife around the water. If you had asked her, she would probably have said that Scenic Lake was her favorite spot. She loved taking slow pontoon cruises around the lake in the summer, watching the sand hill cranes gracefully come in around dusk, and they loved hosting an annual neighborhood Christmas party every year. In the winter she loved watching the skaters clear the ice and then enjoy gliding by.

During that time, a niece moved in for awhile, grandkids were born and Joan was kind enough to give parents a break and cared for them many times over the years. When her mother in law was badly burned she moved in to care for her. The grandkids and nieces and nephews all spent time on Scenic Lake, and loved fishing and swimming there too.

Throughout their time together, she asked for very little. She was always the caregiver to her extended family. She was a devout Catholic. The one thing she did ask is for is that on Sundays Don needed to find and take her to the local Catholic Church, whether in their own town, or in the far reaches of their foreign travels!

Once life at the lake became too difficult they moved to Robson in Arizona, where they were close to family and visitors during the winter months. Joan was quite the lucky Bingo player, graciously sharing her candy prizes with Don. Loving caregivers became friends and she was able to share her deep faith and kind disposition with those around her there.

Joan leaves behind her husband Donald, step-daughter Debbie (Dave) Deal, grandchildren Katie (Andy) Mott, Kristie (Josh) Steger, Andy Cooper, Brian Deal, and 5 great grandchildren.

Joan is also survived by her niece Ann (Charles) Metz, great nephew, Robert Metz, great nieces Samantha (Matt) Klebenow, Jaclyn (Metz) Myers; great-great nephew Cameron Harris and great-great niece Penelope Klebenow.

Joan is preceded in death by her parents Lyle and Lauretta (Hargraves) Beeman, sister, Jean Beeman, step-daughters Laurie (Thor) Kolemainen and Sherrie Cooper.

A funeral mass for Joan will be at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Avondale, AZ

9:45 am on March 1, 2024.

A life celebration luncheon at Robson Reserve will immediately follow the service.

Should you wish to make a donation in her name, she chose her church home in Laingsburg—St. Isidore 310 Crum St., Laingsburg, MI 48848

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Thompson Funeral Chapel