Joan Davis Dimond, age 96, died on May 6, 2022, after a brief illness. She had lived in Needham until 2010, and then moved to New Pond Village, in Walpole where she lived until 2022.
Joan was born on January 7, 1926, in Cambridge, and grew up in Reading. One of her favorite childhood memories was attending Camp Fleur-de-Lis in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, accompanied by her younger sister, Mary. She also had many fond memories of summers spent in Falmouth with family on Surf Drive at their beach cabana “Shangri-La”.
Joan received her B.A. from McGill University in 1947. While at McGill, she joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and provided leadership and service at both the local and national levels. Recently, Joan was presented with a very rare award from her sorority, honoring her for 75 years of dedicated service and membership. Although she was a modest woman, she was very proud of her accomplishments that earned her special recognition for her many decades of involvement in the sisterhood.
Following her graduation from McGill, Joan returned to the Boston area to attend the Katherine Gibbs School. She then worked in the Broadcasting Department at Boston University, where she met Sid Dimond, and they were married in 1950.
Upon arriving in Needham, Joan and Sid joined the Congregational Church of Needham where they became active lifelong members. Joan was involved in many church groups and committees, including Sunday School; the Deaconesses; The Friendly Society; Holly Bazaar; Altar Guild; Chimes Choir; and the Finance Committee. When the pandemic began, Joan attended the Congregational Church Services faithfully via Zoom, and was fondly recognized by Rev. John Gage as the “Patron Saint of Zoom Services,” since Zoom had allowed her to reconnect with the Church right up until the Sunday prior to her death.
In 1959, their daughter Deborah arrived, followed by their son David in 1962. Along with her family responsibilities, Joan devoted much time and energy to community service and volunteered for the Red Cross, Glover Hospital, the Needham Public Library, and as a Girl Scout Leader.
During their son David’s high school years Joan and Sid welcomed dozens of his teenage friends into their home at 54 Coolidge Ave in Needham. Joan was fondly nicknamed “Schmo” as she was known for her generosity and good nature, and eventually her home became known as “The Shmotel” – a great place to drop-in for a meal, start a party and for some, even as a place to live. This open-door hospitality continued on for more than 20 years.
Starting in 1975, Joan began working for the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists in Boston. She loved traveling into the city because it helped her “feel connected” to the wider world. Joan was also a passionate tennis player and began playing in her 40s at the Needham Pool and Racquet Club, and most impressively, she continued to play regularly into her 80s.
After she retired from her job in Boston, she discovered and became an expert quilter, and one of her quilts was awarded first prize in a local competition. Joan was most pleased when she could give away her exquisite quilts as gifts to her grandchildren, to other family members, and to friends.
She lived at New Pond Village in Walpole from 2010 to 2022 where she made many friends in her vibrant new social community. Joan enjoyed attending performances from visiting musicians, traveling on the field trips, and playing Bingo, Dice, and Majun. Again, she found many ways to provide service to her community, where she served on the New Residents’ Committee and the Employees’ Fund Committee, and she served as Chair of the Dining Committee.
Above all else, Joan will be remembered for her love of her family, and the close relationships she had with her children, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. As a mother and grandmother, she was patient, supportive, and endlessly generous. As the matriarch of the family, she was fiercely independent and strong. She took a great interest in the passions of her children and grandchildren, and never missed an important event or a chance to make them feel special.
Joan is survived by her daughter, Deborah, of Troy, NH; and her son, David, and his wife, Lynne and by three grandchildren, Danielle, Spencer, and Sydnie, all of Norfolk, MA. Joan is also survived by her sister, Mary Peterson, of Falmouth, MA.
A Celebration of Life Service to honor and remember Joan will be held on Friday, May 13, 2022, at 10:30 a.m., at the Congregational Church of Needham, 1154 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Congregational Church of Needham via their PayPal Service
To view the service on zoom click below