Joan (Snelling) Lewis, 88, died peacefully on Sept. 30, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Born in Chicago, Ill., on Oct. 28, 1924, she was the first of four daughters of Mildred and Walter Snelling. She was raised in the suburb of Park Ridge, Ill., and attended Iowa State University where she was a member of alpha Gamma Delta sorority. At ISU, she met and fell in love with R.V. (Vaughn) Lewis who was studying to be a veterinarian. Joan married Dr. R.V. Lewis on Nov. 10, 1945, and they made their home in Chariton. Joan returned to college to earn her B.A. from Drake University in 1968. She was a member of Phi Sigma Iota, an international foreign language honorary society and undertook post-graduate studies at l’Universite` Catholique in Angers, France. Joan taught French and English for 20 years at Melcher-Dallas High School and she organized and led her students on several memorable trips to French-Canada. Joan thoroughly enjoyed teaching and became president of the Melcher-Dallas Education Association and was also elected as the first high school teacher to become president of the Iowa Foreign Language Association.
Joan was active in many community organizations throughout her life and enjoyed working as a volunteer. She was a Red Cross volunteer at the Knoxville Veteran’s Hospital, a Girl Scout troop leader and led a Boy Scout Cub Pack. Joan was active in the America Cancer Society, Garfield School P.T.A. and was a member of Chapter N, P.E.O, and Eastern Star. She was president of the Chariton’s Women’s Club, was a charter member of the Chariton Planning and Zoning Commission. Joan taught swimming and life-saving and directed the Red Cross Swimming Program at the Chariton Pool from 1959-69. Always active in her church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, she was president of the Women’s Guild and taught Sunday School for many years.