Born in Honolulu to Helen Beardmore Wood and Kenneth Wood, Joan spent her childhood in Waialua and Manoa, and later on Maui. She graduated from Punahou School in 1952. After graduating from San Jose State University, she married her high school sweetheart, James Fleming, whom she had met on Maui.
After a stint living on the mainland, Joan and Jim settled in Kailua in 1961, just as the Pali tunnels opened. Together they raised four children: David (Bridget), Leslie (Kevin Wilcock), Marcy (Bo Wheeler), and Bruce (Shelley). Joan was involved as a Girl Scout and Camp Fire Girl leader and active with Windward United Church of Christ.
Joan had a vision for making Kailua the community that it is today, taking particular joy in her work with the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle. She served for many years in the group organizing the annual I Love Kailua town party and designed many of the commemorative T-shirts. She also stewarded several beautification projects that remain to this day.
In their Kaimalino neighborhood, Joan and Jim enjoyed being the elders to several generations of young families growing up around them. For more than 50 years they served refreshing Spider Spit (lemonade) to hundreds of trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
Joan's work as a volunteer at Punahou led to full time work as a graphic specialist in Punahou's Visual Production Center for fifteen years. There she excelled at coordinating graphic design projects for teachers, produced by work-study students and parent volunteers.
In retirement, Joan focused on watercolor painting, conveying her love of Hawaii's landscape and flowers in her work. She founded the Windward Wanderers, a group of plein air painters who continue to meet to paint and exhibit at local galleries. Joan and Jim also enjoyed gardening, sailing, hiking and traveling.
Joan was loved by many for her warmth, positive outlook, and enthusiasm for life. Joan is survived by her children, grandchildren and sister, Laurel Leslie. A celebration of life will be held Monday, May 9, at Kaneohe Yacht Club from 4 to 6 pm. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle.
Arrangements Provided By: Oahu Mortuary