Joan Newman

Obituary of Joan Christine Newman

Joan Christine Newman (née Ballantine), a longtime resident of Hilton Head, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 at age 91 surrounded by a noisy group of family and friends celebrating stories of her life and times. Cause of death was satisfied completion of a life well lived. She was born in Lansing, Michigan, June 7th, 1926 to Ralph Wyckoff Ballantine and Beulah Christine (Soule). She grew up in St. Johns with her older brother Ralph (Bal), a former longtime resident of Hilton Head, her sister Betty (Luft) of Dallas, Texas, and her younger sister Barbara (Bobby Spicer) now of Sun City. When it came time for college, her first plan was to go to Purdue and study aeronautical engineering, but her father did not think that was something young ladies should do. Instead, she went to Ohio Wesleyan and in 1947 received, ironically, a degree in home economics. She became a dairy farmer’s wife when she married Richard A. (Dick) Newman, formerly an Army Air Corps pilot in WWII. Together, they built a house and a family on her husband’s family farm in Dewitt from trees cut nearby. She had three boys who learned to work the farm, and attended the local one-room country school. Eventually, she did not find fulfillment in coaxing the best from cattle and followed her mother’s example by going to work for the American Red Cross and running their Blood Donor Program. In 1969, she and her husband gave up the farm and followed brother Bal across the turnstile bridge onto Hilton Head, opening an Insty-Prints business on the island and in Savannah. She continued her Red Cross work with the local chapter and then as a Reserve National Director of Family Services. At the ring of the phone, she would head to California after an earthquake, Fargo for a flood, or Puerto Rico and the Gulf Coast for a hurricane. Leaving for weeks at a time, she led teams providing shelter and feeding services for those forced from their homes. She inherited from her mother the role of ‘hub of the family’ by keeping an open door, and never offering gossip or advice on politics, child-rearing or religion. One of her most prized possessions was a living room plaque that proudly proclaimed “Dull Women Have Immaculate Homes,” and she was far from dull. She and her cat ruled together for 35 years in the house she designed. Joan completed daily NYT Crosswords in ink, was the reservationist for the Sea Grass Grille, kept up on current events and shared only the good news across the family whenever you called. Her home was always a ‘Come As You Are’ party, and all were welcome any time to stay as long as they wanted (as long as they brought their own food and loaded the dishwasher on the way out). And they did so by the dozens. She is survived by her three sons, Rob (wife Robin, Chadds Ford, PA), Chad (Hilton Head, SC) and Joel (wife Annie Ballance, Beaufort, SC); two granddaughters, Kailey Swift (husband Rob, Los Angeles) and Walker Newman (Beaufort, SC); and two step-granddaughters, Jordan Delgadillo (husband Daniel, West Reading, PA) and Regan Taylor (husband Nick, Culpeper, VA). The family is planning a Celebration of Life for later in the year. They ask that in lieu of flowers, individuals make generous and regular donations to the American Red Cross of Beaufort County or the Deep Well Project of Hilton Head to extend her lifetime of service to those in need. She was well-loved by a wide circle of friends and family and will be deeply missed.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Joan
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at The Island Funeral Home & Crematory
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