Joan Peterson Palin of Linden, New Jersey, formerly of Minneota, passed away on December 1, 2009 at the age of 94. Services and a gathering of family and friends were held in Linden on December 5.
Joan was born on June 28, 1915 of Icelandic descent to Stefan Peterson and Lillia Hognason, the fourth of six children. She was raised on her family's farm outside of Minneota, Minnesota, and attended a one-room schoolhouse as a child, living through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl days. She went on to graduate from the Univer-sity of Minnesota with a degree in Home Economics.
Joan worked for several years as a social worker in rural Minnesota and then, with the outbreak of World War II, joined the American Red Cross. She initially trained at the Red Cross facility in Saint Louis prior to being assigned to the USAHS Wisteria, a hospital ship where she met her future husband, Dr. Joseph George Palin.
They made several trans-Atlantic crossings on the Wisteria, bringing wounded soldiers back to the U.S. from North Africa.
Following the end of the war, she and Joseph were married on September 30, 1945.
A few months later, following Joseph's discharge from the army, they moved to Winfield, New Jersey, where Joseph practiced general medicine and they began their family. They had four children: Janet, Betsy, Joseph, and Suzanne, whom they raised while Dr. Palin built his medical practice as Winfield's community and school doctor.
In 1958, the family moved to Linden, New Jersey, where Joan lived for the rest of her life. Joseph and Joan were married for 53 years until his death in 1998.
Joan was a voracious reader, loved to play bridge, and do crossword puzzles. She loved going into New York City where she enjoyed theater and museums with family and friends. She was an ardent Democrat and very active in the League of Women Voters, serving as President of the Linden League for several years.
Joan was a lifelong learner, with a curious and active mind. She was a great cook and she loved to travel, especially enjoying trips to Europe, Israel and Egypt. She had a great sense of humor throughout her life. Joan was always concerned for those less fortunate and gave to many charitable organizations. She took great joy in being with her family and doted on her six grandchildren: Jacob and Molly Levine (Janet), Joseph, William and Elizabeth Palin (Joseph), and Lillia Moran (Suzanne). She will be greatly missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her name to the American Red Cross and the League of Women Voters.