Jenifer and Bill Whitehill, long time friends, with Joan Iversen (2000)

Jenifer and Bill Whitehill, long time friends, with Joan Iversen (2000)

We met Joan in 1966 when she and I (Bill) began teaching at SUNY Oneonta. That same year, she and Jack became a couple to become constant threads throughout our lives.

Joan was an instant memory bank. That steel trap mind never forgot anything, even within our own family. She advised us on work issues, interior decorating with our limited budget and child rearing. Her advice was always sound. She was always there for us.

I (Jenifer) was teaching K-8 music (!) at SUNY Oneonta’s campus school. Back in those days, boys had music while girls had gym. Jenifer was having an awful time with 8th grade boys who had already had 9 years of student teachers, participators and junior participators. Joan helped me with suggestions and support.

Joan kept up-to-date on our family doings. We kept up on Joan and Jack’s 5 “kids” and even saw some of their performances. She also mailed up-to-date clippings from the New York Times, lest Bill might have missed them. During those early years, Joan quit smoking her 2-3 packs of cigarettes per day….cold turkey. We so admired her, since Jenifer found quitting one pack a day her most difficult accomplishment.

Joan found much happiness with Jack and their blended family. Much of their courtship was spent in our living room where we talked and talked. Apparently that nightly brief hour or two was difficult at home with 5 kids!

It is truly hard for us to believe she’s no longer here. How could such a brilliant, caring, dynamic woman just disappear? We are thankful for the friendship and rich memories.

~ Bill and Jenifer Whitehill