Joan A. Straw / May 19, 2010 — Oct. 22, 2010

Published 9:49 pm Sunday, October 24, 2010

Joan A. Straw, 84, of Lawndale Ave. in Niles died at 7:20 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, 2010 at Lakeland Community Hospital in Niles following a brief illness.

She was born on May 19, 1926 in South Bend, Ind. to Lester M. and Mildred M. (Babcock) Smith and graduated from South Bend Central High School in 1944.

She trained at the Sherwood School of Music in Chicago, majoring in vocal performance and has lived in Niles since 1951.

She was employed in the offices of Simplicity Pattern Company for 22 years, retiring in 1992.

She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Niles and of the Preceptor Beta Chi Chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority. She was an active volunteer at church and at the senior center.

She enjoyed playing bridge and reading fiction. Her greatest interest was her family. She enjoyed cooking for them and regularly attended the various activities of her grandchildren, providing their groups and teams with treats, often earning the title of “team grandma.”

On Oct. 6, 1951 in Mishawaka, she married William C. Straw who preceded her in death on Aug. 12, 1999. She was also preceded in death by a brother and two sisters, Merrill Smith, Henrietta Hess and Melbourne Smith.

Surviving family includes four daughters, Andrea (Rick) Bischof of Niles, Linda (Larry) Johnson of Buchanan, Kathleen (Michael) Shelton and Julie (Danny) Udell, both of Niles; grandchildren Cory (Karla), Andy (Mandy), Jamie, Lindsey (Aaron), Adam, Brandon (Jeni), Josh (Willow), Nick, Michael, MacKenzie, Kelly (Corey), Sarah (Jim), Chelsea, Casey, Noah and Cody; great-grandchildren Abigail, Colton, Will, Adeline, Lily, Logan, Bryce, Kyleigh, Alyssa, Audry, Lexy, Jessica, Josh and Timmy and God-daughter and niece Cheryl Beck Best.

Services for Joan A. Straw will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 at the First Presbyterian Church in Niles with the Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence officiating, assisted by Mr. Ray Fullbright.

Interment will be at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens in Niles.

Contributions in memory of Joan Straw may be made to The Foundation of First Presbyterian Church or to the Brandywine Public School Athletic Department.