Joan Marie Carlton died peacefully,
surrounded by her family, on May 1,
2010, at the age of 88. Her life was
enriched by family and many, many
friends. She enriched our lives with
love, humor, and a positive attitude
about everything and everyone.
Joan was born to George and Clara
Lucey on August 30, 1921, on a farm
in Plymouth County, Iowa. She
had four sisters and one brother, and seemingly numberless aunts, uncles
and cousins. Joan grew up on small Iowa farms and in small Iowa towns,
graduating from Auburn High School in 1938. When the family moved to
Carroll, Iowa in 1938, she got the first of many jobs as a waitress. After
that, she became a telephone operator for “Ma Bell,” and in January, 1944
joined the Navy as a WAVE. During the rest of the war, she was stationed
in Tillamook, Oregon as a PBX operator. Returning to Carroll after the war,
she worked summers in Yellowstone National Park, and in 1947, with that
spirit of adventure which was always just below the surface, she and some
friends moved to Palm Springs, where Joan again worked as a waitress. She
eventually found her way to the ocean at Balboa, California, where she met
and married John Carlton in July, 1950. Balboa is where she remained for
the next 59 years.
Joan and John raised their own family in a house they found in 1954
on Ocean Boulevard on the Balboa Peninsula. Son John was followed by
daughters Janice, Cathy, Mary Christine and Maureen. Joan and John were
never rich in possessions, but they were rich in family and friends. Until
Joan moved to Temecula in April, 2009, the house on Ocean Boulevard was
a center of life in the neighborhood, where children of all ages came to play,
friends came to talk, and all shared countless holidays and special occasions,
usually with a meal prepared by Joan.
Joan was a fixture in Balboa. She worked as a waitress in various
restaurants in downtown Balboa, as a saleslady in the Bay Department
Store, and in the office of the Dahl Design studio. In between this and
raising her family, she played lots and lots of bridge.
Joan looked for the good in people, and usually found it. She was
happiest when surrounded by others, with a glass of wine, a cigarette, and
a snappy but gentle witticism. Joan enjoyed life, talked a blue streak, and
made friends wherever she was -- many of them friends for life.
She is survived by her children John (Nancy), Janice Murphy (William),
Catherine Carlton (DonnaJeanne DeLorenzo), Christine Carlton (Peter
Cure) and Maureen Ferry (Michael), and grandchildren Shane Lausch,
Elizabeth Carlton, Sam Hagerty, Jack Hagerty, Sean Ferry and Katie Ferry.
A memorial service will be held at Pacific View Memorial Park and
Mortuary, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, California, at 2:30
p.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2010. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made
to Hospice of the Valley, 25240 Hancock Avenue, Suite 120, Murrieta,