Joan M. Anderson | News, Sports, Jobs

Joan M. Anderson

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Joan Marjorie Anderson died on June 16, 2022, at the age of 92, from medical complications resulting from a stroke in 2016.

She was the first born to her parents Edgar Lloyd Bastian and Myrtle M. Bastian on August 31, 1929 in Iron Mountain. She grew up in a traditional Swedish family with close ties to 14 Scandinavian aunts and uncles in town. She thrived in the Upper Peninsula environment, taking advantage of seasonal activities in a beautiful part of the state. Upon graduation, she worked as a medical assistant.

She married David G. Anderson on June 24, 1950. They were childhood friends and grew up together in Iron Mountain. After her marriage, Joan joined David in Ann Arbor where he enrolled in medical school at the University of Michigan. Except for accompanying her husband on a tour of duty as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force, Ann Arbor was her home for the last 72 years of her life.

In Ann Arbor, Joan worked in occupational therapy in the Department of Psychiatry at the University Medical Center, helping veterans after their tours of duty and helping her husband finish medical school. After the birth of their first child in 1954, and when David accepted a position on the faculty of the medical school and the university hospital, Joan became a full-time homemaker.

During her years in Ann Arbor, Joan was involved and contributed to her community. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church as an elder, deacon, member of the choir and women’s association, and cook for the homeless. She attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC and was an active member with friends and her husband in a local Bible study group.

Joan has been a volunteer at the Ann Arbor Thrift Shop for over 30 years and a volunteer counselor at the Community Mental Health Crisis Center. She was awarded PEO Emeritus status after 50 years of service. On her own initiative and with the support of her husband, Joan petitioned the Washtenaw Juvenile Court to allow their home as a foster home and them as foster parents. She then used her family and home to care for a series of teenagers who were wards of the court during the troubled times of the 1960s.

Joan also participated in local society events. She was a member of the advisory board of the University Musical Society during its 100th anniversary celebration. She was city chair of the Michigan Cancer Crusade and fundraiser. She was a member of the Washtenaw Faculty Women’s Club and Physician’s Assistant, serving as chair of the annual arts and crafts fair.

Joan loved to entertain and was known for her champagne brunches which she prepared at home for 25 to 30 friends. She had a unique ability to respond to the needs of others, to quietly change her priorities or simply to listen and console. She touched many lives and tried to inspire hope. She kept a large file of stories and quotes which she used extensively in her communications with her friends, and especially with her grandchildren.

She was the grandchildren’s favorite and sang a collection of hymns and lullabies from her mother and family. She sang and taught these treasures to her children and grandchildren who are now an integral part of their family’s traditions.

Joan was a sports enthusiast who participated in many sporting events while in college. She enthusiastically supported her children’s involvement in sports. Joan was an excellent skier and some of her most memorable moments were out west ski trips and family camping trips. She and her husband have traveled to numerous national and international medical meetings, visited all 50 states, and vacationed in New Zealand, Alaska, Africa, and many European countries. After retiring, she and her husband spent every summer season for more than 20 years on their Lake Michigan property on the Leelanau Peninsula.

Joan had a time in her life when she searched for meaning and for God. She had a strong Christian faith which supported her and which she professed. She was proud of her Swedish heritage and carried on many family traditions, especially during the holidays. She had high expectations and boundless love for her children. She believed she had received much more than she had given.

Joan is survived by her husband David G. Anderson, MD, and her children Cynthia R. Anderson (William Limbach) of Traverse City, Michigan, David L. Anderson (Lori) of Denver, Steven J. Anderson (Heidi) of Plymouth Mich., and Laura J. Marion (Bradford) of Barrington Ill. She has three brothers, Lloyd E. Bastian (Irene) of Tecumseh, Mich., Jon T. Bastian (Linda) of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and Gregory P. Bastian (Debbie) of Florence, Wis. There are 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church with interment of cremains in the church’s memorial garden. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 1432 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, or to the David and Joan Anderson Scholarship Endowment at the University of Michigan Medical School, University Development Office, 3003 South State Street, Suite 9000, Ann Arbor MI 48109.


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