CAMBRIDGE - Joan S. Spaulding passed away Monday, January 14, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Ralph, her daughter, Alexandra (Leif), as well as her oldest sister, her brother, five sisters-in-law, and several nieces and nephews. She was born November 4, 1929, the daughter of Florence (Wells) and J. Lemuel Sackett, at home in the Town of Riga, Monroe County, New York. She graduated from the Churchville/Chili High School in 1947 and attended Genesee Junior College, Lima, New York. She went to work for Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York, where she worked with proprietary information related to camera works. Joan married Ralph G. Spaulding April 16, 1955, at the Colgate Divinity School Chapel in Rochester. He was employed initially by Otetiana Council, Boy Scouts of America, Rochester, serving as District Executive and Camp Director at Massawepie Scout Reservation near Tupper Lake, New York. Joan accompanied him for three summer sessions and invited three young children of a friend to spend the summer at Camp. His next assignment was serving military dependents in Europe, with a home location in Verona, Italy, the headquarters of a joint Italian/American Army Post. Joan and Ralph made lifelong friends with those in the military. While there Joan and Ralph began the adoption process for their daughter, Alexandra. Upon return to the United States, Ralph's assignments were in Chicago, IL and Madison, WI. Joan served as a Deacon with Christ Presbyterian and Parkside Presbyterian churches in Madison. Making hospital and nursing home visitations to many were among the most meaningful contributions of her activities. Her early European experiences only whet her appetite for world travel, which she and Ralph enjoyed over several more decades, visiting almost all of Western and Eastern Europe, China, Thailand, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and Mexico. She and Ralph made nine trips to Mexico as tourists with Madison East High School students. She organized two trips to the United Kingdom and Europe for church friends. In addition to family ventures, she and Ralph enjoyed at least 20 Road Scholar (Elderhostel) trips and 35 trips with Grand Circle Travel or Cruise Lines. Along with her passion for travel, Joan was an avid gardener of flowers as well as foodstuffs, a lover of music, and a collector of many beautiful things.
Joan was a loving, loyal, and generous wife, mother, and friend to all who knew her. She was a champion of women's rights, the underprivileged, the underserved, and animals. She cared deeply about social justice, humanitarian causes, and the betterment of the human condition. She gave generously to those causes near and dear to her. In lieu of any flowers, if you wish to make a memorial donation, please consider The Heifer Project, Habitat for Humanity, Planned Parenthood, the Southwest Indian Foundation, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue of San Angelo, TX, or your local Humane Society.
Interment will be conducted privately in Monroe County, New York, at a date to be determined.
The Nitardy Funeral Home, Cambridge, WI is assisting the family, Please share your memories of Joan on this web site, www.nitardyfuneralhome.com