Our beloved Joan, passed away peacefully in Tustin, CA on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 after
a battle with cancer. Joan was born April 7, 1931 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, daughter of Helen and Arthur Cappelen. She attended West High School and University of Minnesota where she met the love of her life, husband Vince.
Joan’s zest for life, quick wit, and ever present smile showed how much she loved and enjoyed
her large family, and even larger group of longtime friends. Joan will be dearly missed by her husband of 58 years, Vince; by her five children, and 11 grandchildren, all whom she loved so much and enjoyed spending time with.
Joan and Vince were married May 1, 1954 in Minneapolis. Vince’s career with EcoLab took them to South Bend, Indiana in 1955. Eight years later Joan, Vince and their four children arrived in California. In 1968 they moved to La Canada where their fifth child was born. Joan began her career of timeless efforts of community activities and political endeavors which were of great value to the city.
Serving on the La Canada City Council, 1986-1999; served as Mayor for 3 terms; 44th Assembly District-Woman of the Year 1993; La Canadan of the Year-Kiwanis Club-1996. Joan was a forceful leader in pursuing the city’s purchase of 100 acres in Cherry Canyon to provide open space for generations to come. Other significant city programs that she worked on during her 13 year council career were the purchase of the Community Center, acquiring the Lanterman House, undergrounding of all power lines on Foothill Boulevard, and the development of Memorial Park, all with the help of her council member colleagues.
Joan was a tireless worker in local community organizations. She was president of the Assistance League of La Canada Flintridge, active at Crescenta-Canada YMCA, La Canada Valley Beautiful, as well as Girl Scouts, and Oak Grove PTA. For some ten years Joan was a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo, leading their Biome program and speaking at two national zoo conventions. Later Joan turned to fine art and volunteered for ten years as a docent at the Huntington Library and Gardens.
Throughout Joan’s 42 years in La Canada, although immersed in many activities, she provided a loving home for her five children and husband. Always willing to host an event, open their home to others, have a Super Bowl party, and at Christmas, have Santa Claus come to their home for friends and families.
Joan is survived by her husband of 58 years, Vince; her five children; Nancy (Sander) Nygaard, Sue (Nick) Willett, Douglas (Sue) Feehan, Dan (Adrianne) Feehan, Vince II (Tracy) Feehan. Grandchildren; Russell and Chip Nygaard, Kent, Daniel, and Alice Kate Willett, Brett Feehan, Mike, Kevin, and Katherine Feehan, Zachary and Caden Feehan. Her sisters, Nancy Maybee of Florida, and Sally Nelson of Minnesota. Predeceased by her brother; Sumner Cappelen (1945).
Joan will be sorely missed by all those that she touched throughout her 81 years of life, as she had a lasting impact on all knew her.
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm at La Cañada Presbyterian Church; 626 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011.
To honor her life donations may be made in her name to: Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation, 1101 New York Ave. NW, Suite 620, Washington, DC 20005. Or at www.CureMelanoma.thankyou4caring.org