Obituary Notices and Memorials


ELTON, Joan Mccurdy
ELTON, Joan McCurdy Oct., 26, 1929-May 20, 2017 Joan died peacefully in her sleep at her home. She was born to Ralph Edwin McCurdy and Sylvia Meehan McCurdy, the first of two daughters, Betty Ann coming along some four years later. Following in her parent's footsteps, Joan went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, majoring in Biology and graduating in June 1951. She went to work as a cancer research assistant in Biology, in the mouse laboratory, at Amherst College where she met Richard, a pre-med student. It was love at first sight and they married in June 1953. Joan taught second graders to help put her husband through medical school in Rochester, N.Y. and upon his graduation in June, 1956, he joined the U. S. Army Medical Corps, becoming an orthopedic surgeon and serving for 23 years. Joan and he adopted four children, James, David, Laura and June. Joan was named 'Woman of the Year' at Ft. Sam Houston in 1972 for all her contributory activities. In 1979, upon retirement from the Army, they set up shop in Lancaster, Calif. Richard did his orthopedic surgery and Joan was his full time office manager. Joan became active in a number of community organizations. She was president and treasurer of the Assistance League of the Antelope Valley and for many years was a Puppeteer with 'Kids on the Block', working with Joanne Wilson and doing educational puppet shows in the schools using puppets with disabilities. Joan was a board member of United Way and past president and newsletter chair of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, an organization of physician spouses. She was a sustaining member of the Alpha Charter Guild to the Antelope Valley Hospital, a board member of the Visiting Nurse Association, and a Life Time member of the Girl Scouts. For all her accomplishments Joan was an Honoree at the AV Hospital Gala in 1998 and a year later she was selected by Senator George Runner as Lancaster's 'Woman of the Year'. In her later years, Joan was active in the Antelope Valley Committee on Aging and the Knitting Guild of the Antelope Valley; she shared in monthly lunches with the Red Hatters, and began writing poems as a member of the Antelope Valley Writer's Association. Some of her poems are published in the AVWA Anthology for 2015 and others will appear in an upcoming Anthology. Joan is survived by her husband, Richard, her four children, and their respective families including nine grand children and eight great grandchildren, and her sister Elizabeth Ann Mills and niece Karen Mills. A Memorial Service for Joan is scheduled for June 17, Saturday, at 3:00 PM at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 502 West Avenue K, Lancaster, Calif. In lieu of flowers it is requested that donations be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church (mailing address: P.O. Box 8836, Lancaster, Calif. 93539) or to an organization of your choice. Joan has been an Episcopalian since she was a teenager and she thoroughly enjoyed being an active member of the Order of the Daughters of the King.

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