After a long life defined by commitment and adventure, Joan Hastings passed away Saturday afternoon, January 5, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Joan outlived two husbands, William Hastings (1923-1994) whom she married on October 24, 1953 in Yonkers, NY and Earl Terp (1927-2016) whom she married February 10, 2010 in Tucson, AZ. She had one sister, Diane of Falmouth, Maine who survives. Joan had five children, Bill Jr. (Debbie) of Falmouth, ME, Paul (Todd) of Palm Springs, CA, Mark of Mesa, AZ, Julie (Bruce) of Scottsdale, AZ and Geoff of Des Moines, IA and nine grandchildren (Angela, Emily, Matthew, Zachary, Jessica, Robert, Samantha, Jensen, and Emma) gifted to her in so many ways during her adventure with one great grandchild, Keanu, born this year in Des Moines, Iowa.
Joan Marie Cronin was born May 23, 1930 at the old Yonkers Hospital in central Yonkers, New York. Her father was in the meat industry and her mother worked for Social Security. She grew up with her grandfather and her family on Lake Avenue next to Lennon Park and in the shadow of Sacred Heart Monastery in Yonkers; which modeled her entire life
For thirty years, during World War II and until 1962 the family lived at Lennon Park, attending Gorton High School nearby and graduating with distinction. She was admitted to Columbia University, where at Earl Hall in 1952, her real adventure began. She was late (for the better part of her eighty eight years to be honest) in attending a Newman function there. Joan rushed in, created a mini-scene trying to wedge in so as to lean on a wall. Two spaces down stood William H. Hastings (Bill) who had to move over a bit to create some room – and the rest is history. One of those random defining moments of life we all cherish.
Bill and Joan began a whirlwind courtship and were married at the Sacred Heart Monastery on October 24, 1953. They had a delayed honeymoon at Cambridge Suites, Kings Point, Bermuda with son, Bill Jr. being born nine months later in 1955. It was during that visit to Bermuda that husband Bill Sr. became stranded on a small sailboat and pushed out to sea – rescued, we are told, at the last twilight moment. This coming after also having survived many dangerous episodes as a member of the 69th Division during World War II. Their life, love, and our family were but a whisper away from not happening.
Joan did not finish her studies at Columbia University choosing to focus on her children. Bill did graduate later with both Bachelor and Masters’ degrees. Joan and Bill settled into Bryant Crescent in White Plains, NY where Bill began work with the General Foods Corporation nearby. Their very first house came next in nearby Harrison, NY along with children Paul, Mark, Julie, and Geoff. From 1953 to 1965, she lived a remarkably full and happy life, between White Plains and Yonkers, watching her children and family grow.
In 1965, Bill Sr. accepted an offer to become Vice President and COO of Ray J. Benoit & Sons in Kankakee, Illinois. It was a job that fit all of his skills and ambitions. After much trial and discussion, the entire family moved to Kankakee where Joan became a very active member of the social scene and built her dream house on Elmwood Drive. Commitment remained Joan’s theme there and the family thrived again with son, Bill Jr. shipping off to Purdue University and son Paul to the University of Notre Dame during that time.
Alas, in 1974, a recession hit. Joan became a true warrior and held things together. In 1977, as construction work dried up and as Joan and Bill Sr. sacrificed everything to keep young Bill and Paul in college, Joan became Administrative Lead for the Music Department at Iowa State University in Ames, IA and Bill Sr. was appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering there. It was a true honor for Joan and Bill and allowed them to apply everything they had learned to a new challenge. The family, again, thrived with Geoff putting down permanent roots there. Mark, Julie, and Geoff took advantage of Iowa State University with Julie and her new husband, Bruce, moving to Tucson Arizona shortly thereafter.
Commitment became even more central in Joan’s life in 1982 when Bill Sr. suffered the first of a series of strokes in Ames, IA. It became clear that Bill needed better weather and better medical attention. Joan, with Bill Sr., in tow joined daughter Julie in Tucson Arizona. There, from 1982 until 1994, Joan took care of, nursed, and waited on Bill Sr. in a manner rarely seen today. She never complained, only sacrificed some of the prime years of her life. When Bill Sr. passed away, shortly after Joan had left after spending hours with him, Joan’s only regret was that she was not there with Bill Sr. when he died. We should all be so fortunate.
Adventure then became Joan’s theme. What came after Joan turned 65 is truly amazing. She watched over her first grandson, Zach, during his first year of life. She was there for granddaughter Jessica’s birth on the same day as Bill Sr.’s funeral. Then came Robert, Emma, and Samantha. Joan was there for grandson Matthew’s birth in London, England in 1999. In short, life bloomed in the truest sense.
Joan was then fortunate to meet Earl Terp in Tucson in the mid-2000s. They loved each other and loved life. Joan Hastings married Earl Terp in Tucson, AZ in 2010, aged 80 and 83 respectively, with Bill Jr. the best man giving away the bride. They began a long-deserved, thirty years delayed, worldwide adventure; traversing the Panama Canal, cruising New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Germany; hardly ever resting. Joan was able to visit more than twenty countries after age 80; more than most of us in a lifetime.
In 2015, Joan’s health began to decline rapidly, Earl passed way in 2016 and, alas, on Saturday – January 5, 2019 – Joan passed away as well. We are blessed to have witnessed the commitment and the adventure that marked the life of Joan Hastings (Terp). And she is certainly most happy now to be re-united with both Bill Sr. and with Earl.