Cover photo for Joann Frances Williams's Obituary
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Joann Frances Williams

Joann Frances Williams (nee Hasler), 88 of Arlington, Virginia passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter, Jennifer, in the early morning of October 30th following a valiant battle with a brain tumor.

Joann, was born in Dearborn, Michigan on September 26, 1935, and graduated from Fordson High School and Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education.

Joann married fellow educator and Dearborn native, Thomas Wendell Williams and they resided in Dearborn Heights until 1976 when they followed their sailboat to Grosse Ile as a safe harbor to raise their children Todd and Jennifer. Following the unexpected passing of her young husband six months later, Joan continued to make Grosse Ile a home for them for 21 years.

As an educator and life-long learner, she was a pioneer in after-school enrichment programs “Fun After School” on Grosse Ile. Joann cared for, crafted with and educated hundreds of FAS kids as a labor of love, keeping children engaged and safe after school with seasonally-thematic snacks, crafts and lessons. She was an active member of the Grosse Ile Herb Society, Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival and a deacon of the Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church for many years.

In 1998, Joann retired to Arlington to enjoy life with Jennifer and Washington DC’s museums, politics and more. As an avid reader, sometimes more than a book a week, she devoured biographies, political and celebrity alike. Her love of current events and “the news” continued until her passing as she inquired about world events. She was quietly curious and devotedly committed to social justice.

Joann was predeceased by her husband Tom, her parents and a younger brother. Joann is survived by her children, Dr. Todd Williams (Suzy) of Grosse Ile, Jennifer Williams of Arlington, Virginia, grandchildren Mitchell Williams, Katie Williams and her brother Fred Hasler (Clare).

A private celebration of life will place her in the GIPC Memorial Garden. Memorial donations may be given to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington or The Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joann Frances Williams, please visit our flower store.


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