CROMWELL, Conn. — A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. in Grace Congregational United Church of Christ of Rutland and Saturday, March 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Chapel at Covenant Village, in Cromwell, Conn., for Joan Wilder Gannon Dean, 84, of Cromwell, Conn., and formerly Rutland, who died Feb. 20 at Pilgrim Manor in Covenant Village of Cromwell.
She was born March 8, 1929, in Worcester, Mass., the daughter of John Henry and Mildred Annie (Wilder) Gannon.
Joan graduated from South High School in Worcester, Mass. in 1947, Worcester Art Museum of Fine Arts in 1950, and Clark University in Worcester, Mass. in 1955.
On June 11, 1955, Joan married the Rev. David Joseph Dean in Worcester, Mass.
An accomplished potter for 30 years, she owned Deancroft Pottery in Rutland where she produced beautiful chalices for communion, as well as her distinctive wind chimes. A fascinating puppeteer and true storyteller, she was the loving crafter of numerous puppets, owning Deancroft Puppets in Rutland and Sarasota, Fla., and was the puppeteer for Disney World in 1995. Joan also enjoyed playing her dulcimer.
Joan was a true renaissance woman, holding memberships in the National League of American Pen Women, Puppeteers of America, Boston Guild of Puppetry, Daughters of the American Revolution, Huguenot Society and the Vermont Handcrafters — a guild of Vermont Craftsmen. In 1989, she was artist-in-residence for Quechee schools.
A member of Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, she sang in the Sanctuary Choir for 20 years. After moving to Cromwell, Conn., she and David became members of Rocky Hill United Church of Christ.
Survivors include her husband, the Rev. David J. Dean of Cromwell, Conn.; a daughter, Mary Kathleen Dean of Rocky Hill, Conn.; a son, John Carlton Dean of Claremont, N.H.; four grandchildren, John Joseph Dean, Patrick Ryan Dean, Samuel David Dean-Lee and Skyler Elizabeth Dean-Lee; a great-grandson, Rayden Angus Dean; and several nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, 8 Court Street, Rutland, 05701; or to the Benevolent Fund of Covenant Village, 52 Missionary Road, Cromwell, Conn. 06416.
Arrangements are under the direction of Tossing Funeral Home.
This obituary first appeared in the February 27, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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