Monday, January 8, 2018

Vale - Joan Small. March 2017

Report by Ursula Beatty.

Vale Joan Small. In March 2017, we sadly had to say goodbye to one of our longstanding and valued TM members. She was 73 years old.
Joan was an active member of Helensvale Daybreak club and Be Change advanced TM club. She  always had an upbeat vibrant personality and speaking voice. Unfortunately, she was  diagnosed with ALS (a form of Motor Neuron Disease) in mid 2016, loosing the  ability to speak, relying solely on technology -  "Text to speech" on her mobile phone and emails, until she eventually lost the ability to type. It was very sad to see her go through this rapid decline. Although she lost the ability to communicate verbally, she still had a sharp mind and could communicate using gestures, which I was very impressed with! 

A mother of 3 sons and grandmother to 9 much loved grandchildren,  Joan was a former teacher and business owner and later became a successful author,  poet and ghost writer. 

Joan served as President of this club in 2015-2016 and held various other leadership roles including VPPR and webmaster, during the course of her membership of TM. She also  mentored/ coached many Toastmasters and members of the writing and poetry clubs that she  belonged to. 

Many of the current and past members of Toastmasters attended her funeral, which was a lovely celebration of her life with her family and her  many friends and associates. I was very pleased to be able to do an  impromptu speech at her funeral, as a friend and fellow Toastmaster. RIP Joan. 

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