In Memoriam – Joan Mendelsohn

WORTHINGTON – Joan K Mendelsohn, 91, of Worthington. Sculptor, reader, cook, scrabble player and prolific emailer to her children and grandchildren.

Although born into the Kaufmann Department Store Family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised a debutante in the 1930’s, she developed her independent thinking at the Dana Hall boarding school in Wellesley.

She served as a nurse’s aide in World War II. Studied art at the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Art Students League in New York City and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Therapy at the University of Massachusetts in 1978.

She transitioned from New York City to the Town of Worthington in the 1970’s, where she taught art classes, developed her creative style and made many friends in the community. She loved to entertain and took special care to set a fine formal table with creative center pieces and delicious meals. She presided over many happy convivial gatherings with friends and guests from diverse backgrounds and generations. This made for the lively wide-ranging discussions she relished. Kept her wits about her to the end, but her body just gave out.

She passed Sept. 26, 2015, at home with family caring for her and great assistance from the angels at Hospice.

Joan is survived by her sister, Judy Robinson Strong of Palm Beach, Florida; her three children, James of Scarborough, New York, David of Weston, and Anne of Nantucket; grandsons, James Oliver, Taylor Oliver, and David Maxwell; and step granddaughter, Erica Skinner of Castro Valley, California.

A giver to the end, Joan donated her body to Tufts Medical School for the next generation of doctors to learn from.

In lieu of flowers, she urges you to support the Northampton Survival Center, the Hospice Program at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, or a community service non-profit of your choice.

A memorial service will be held November 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Worthington Historical Society. All are welcome.

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette on October 24, 2015