Joan Carlson
02/01/1929 -

MUSCATINE, Iowa – Joan K. Carlson, 93, of Muscatine, died on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at Addington Place of Muscatine. Per Joan’s wishes there will be a family memorial and burial at Mountain View Cemetery in Connell, WA next year.

Joan was born on February 1st, 1929, in Sydney, Australia to Edward and Mildred Klindworth. She spent her childhood with sister, Ann and brother, Don before returning on the SS Monterey to Portland, Oregon in 1940. She graduated from Grant High School in 1947 then attended Willamette University. There she met her future husband, E. Herbert Carlson and was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1951. Joan married Herb on February 18, 1951 and moved to Pittsburgh while Herb completed his masters and PHD at Carnegie Institute of Technology which is now known as Carnegie-Mellon. Joan was employed by the South District of Pittsburgh Girl Scouts, Larry was born, and she survived polio.

After Pittsburgh, Joan lived in Dayton, OH where Wendy and Lisa were born. In 1961 the family moved to Kirkwood, MO where Karen was born. This decade was filled with family adventures in the Nimrod Tent Camper and cross-country train trips. In 1969, she received her Teacher’s Certificate from Harris Teachers College in St. Louis and subsequently began her dedicated career as an educator at Valley Park, Missouri.

She moved to Muscatine in 1971 and continued her passion for teaching at Garfield Elementary School the following year. The 1970’s was the start of trips around the world for Joan and Herb. They visited Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Germany while also taking the family on vacations across the United States. Joan and her sister, Ann, returned to Australia for a visit as well.

Joan was dedicated to her growing family and celebrated graduations, first homes and weddings in the 1980’s before welcoming six grandchildren over the next couple of decades. She retired from her career as an educator in 1988.

Joan participated in clubs, civic activities, and memberships. She served her community and explored her interests by belonging to book clubs, bridge clubs, MARSPA, Sister Cities, Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Wesley United Methodist Church, Craft Guild of Iowa City, American Tapestry Alliance, and Midwest Weavers Guild.

The 1990’s through the 2010’s were filled with travel and workshops around the world where she explored her interests and made memories with her family. She had an uncanny ability in finding happiness in daily activities and bringing people and ideas together. In her final days, she was doing this and was planning to start a book club at Addington Place.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Joan’s memory be directed to the Community Foundation for the benefit of the new Mulberry Health Clinic, a donation of food, children’s gift, or time to the Salvation Army of Muscatine, or to Wesley United Methodist Church.

Those left to honor her memory include one son, Lawrence Carlson and wife, Christine, of Nine Mile Falls, WA; three daughters, Wendy Carlson-Koll of Jackson, WY, Lisa Wickert of Pleasant Hill, IA and Karen Harper; and husband, Gregory, of Muscatine and five grandchildren; Connie Carlson and wife, Jamie Bulrice, of New Orleans, LA, DeMaris McKee of Des Moines, IA, F. Scott McKee and wife, Olivia, of Austin, TX, Erica Henderson and spouse, Carlin, of Indianapolis, IN and Joel Wickert of Pleasant Hill, IA.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister, brother, son-in-law, Craig Koll, granddaughter, Alicia Smith and son-in-law, Mark McKee.

Joan was the matriarch of the family and is deeply missed. She embraced free speech, education, independent journalism, tolerance, and love. Her family will continue to honor her legacy through progressive thought and living their lives to the fullest.