Joan M. Washington
Joan M. Washington
  • April 30, 1932 - February 18, 2017
  • O Fallon, Missouri

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Mrs. Joan Marjorie Babcock-Washington, was born on April 30, 1932; and passed on February 18, 2017 at age 84. Joan was the daughter of the late Wayne Babcock and the late Dorothy Schwartz-Babcock. In 1955, Joan married St. Louisan Frank L. Washington, and to this union one son was born, Steven G. Washington [August 23, 1963-August 2, 2016]. Some years later, she and Frank were divorced; but she and Frank remained good friends and co-parents. Joan taught school [Kindergarten, First & Second Grade Classes] in the St. Louis Public Schools for more than 39 years. Joan, a product of Harris Stowe's [Teachers] College of St. Louis, retired in 1992 from the St. Louis Public Schools. Joan was an integral part of her Central West End church, The Pilgrim Congregational Church for more than 52 years, where she made her home until two years ago. Joan was a collector of African-American fine art and African-American Books, from Roots by Alex Haley to all of the books by former President Barack Obama. At the time of her death, she had amassed nearly 500 books and pamphlets on the African-American culture. She was a known philanthropist and gave to many charitable organizations as well as volunteered her time to help in "second language" classes and area soup kitchens. In 2015 when her health began to fail, she moved in with her late son Steven and daughter-in-law Crystal in O'Fallon, Missouri. When Steven took ill and passed from pancreatic cancer in August of 2016, she was placed in the beautiful Caregiver's Inn in O'Fallon, Missouri [just two blocks from their home] for loving and compassionate continuous around-the-clock care. Every breath Joan took was for her son Steven. At times, this seemed to be her only purpose in life.

After her only grandchild, Gabrielle was born in 2010, Joan and her sister Jean chose to babysit Gabrielle two days a week for two years. Joan, being an early-education school teacher, said "we have taken her as far as we can, she now needs more professional teachings." Thus, Joan helped with the cost of enrolling Gabrielle in the West County Day School where she could further her education. As with Steven, her only child, Gabrielle became the center of Joan's joy. Joan suffered from severe Alzheimer's and Dementia. She never remarried. Joan was preceded in death by her only son, Steven, her parents and both sets of grandparents. Joan was so appreciative of her sister Jean, her ex-husband Frank and Steve's step-mother Mary, who helped co-parent her son, Steven. She appreciated the many things they taught him; the many places they took him on vacation and the many nights they stayed up late with her to nurse him back to health from childhood illnesses.

Joan is survived by a sister Ms. Jean Babcock [Florissant, MO]; a brother James Babcock [St. Louis, MO]; a daughter-in-law and dedicated caregiver Crystal M. Simmons Washington and one grandchild, Gabrielle A. Washington [O'Fallon, MO]. Other dedicated caregivers include: Sister Jean Babcock, Frank & Mary Washington; Lacy & Ruby Simmons, Dr. Anna Olivetti and CeLace Simmons Nelson. She is also survived by several long-time friends.