Joan Nevins, an artist who worked as an interior designer and teacher, died March 17 at Kensington Park of complications from Alzheimer's disease. The former Rockville resident was 87.
Born Joan Shapiro in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1930, she was the daughter of Benjamin and Anna Shapiro.
Mrs. Nevins attended the High School of Music & Art in New York. She earned a bachelor's degree in art from Cooper Union and a bachelor's degree in teaching from the University of Maryland.
"Her life revolved a lot around art and artistic endeavors, and appreciation of beauty and colors," said one of her sons, David H. Nevins of Baltimore.
Mrs. Nevins began her career as a commercial artist, designing ads and packaging for products, her son said. She later worked as an art teacher and an interior designer, eventually running Joan Nevins Interiors in Rockville. Throughout her life, she painted extensively.
Mr. Nevins said his mother was "sweet and kind, but at the same time had a lot of spunk and feistiness."
She was an "early-on feminist" who cared deeply about women's rights and social justice issues, he said.
Mrs. Nevins was married for 30 years to Dr. Frederick Nevins, a state health official who died in 1979.
Several years after her husband's death, Mrs. Nevins decided to begin dating, her son said. She founded Dimensions, a group for Jewish singles in the Washington area.
That was how she met Allen Winer, who became her companion of 35 years.
"This was obviously pre-internet and pre-dating sites," Mr. Nevins said. "Today it's an app, but in those days, you went to events and met people that way."
The Dimensions group eventually grew to nearly 1,000 members, he said.
Mrs. Nevins was a prolific letter-writer and enjoyed sending people articles she had clipped from newspapers. She had beautiful handwriting and always put extra postage on her envelopes, her son recalled.
A private burial was set for Sunday at King David Memorial Gardens in Falls Church, Va. A memorial tribute is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Woodholme Country Club in Pikesville.
Mrs. Nevins also survived by a son, Eric R. Nevins of Olney, and a daughter, Lizabeth S. Nevins of Rockville; a sister, Winnie Delon of Denver; and nine grandchildren.