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Joan Gravett - Duluth

Joan Gravett - Duluth
Joan Gravett

Joan Gravett died peacefully on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at her home in Duluth, with her family at her side.

 

Joan and her late husband, Dr. Desmond Gravett, emigrated from South Africa to Rochester in 1962. She lived a very full life enjoying travel worldwide, hard work, gardening and the outdoors, and most of all her family and her friends.

Joan's professional life started as an Occupational Therapist in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was a compassionate advocate for children as a Board Member and then Executive Director of the non-profit Civic League Day Nursery in Rochester, and also with Child Care Resource and Referral. She provided a nurturing environment for all those whom she watched over. An active member of the Rochester community, Joan found tremendous gratification volunteering in a number of capacities, most notably helping at-risk children via the Guardian Ad Litem program. She forged many meaningful friendships — including a variety of book, garden, sewing and travel clubs. Her neighbors and co-workers held a special place in her heart as well.

Joan was a woman of great strength, vitality and practicality. After a diagnosis of ALS she moved to Duluth in 2009 to be close to her beloved son and daughter-in-law. There she continued to live a rich life enjoying Superior’s North Shore with them both, Bulldogs Hockey with Peter, and the steady stream of letters, calls and visits from her family, and also friends from Rochester and around the country. Her independent spirit and continued interest in others won her valued new friends, both young and old, in Duluth. The disease never took her humor, dignity, or love of life.

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Many thanks to Joan’s team of wonderful supporters: the staff of Lakeshore Senior Living, the ALS Association and MD Association, as well as her doctors, the hospice team and ALS support group at SMDC. Lindsey and Tessa would also like to thank Peter and Lisa for their unwavering dedication to Mom’s quality of life these past two years.

  

Joan is survived by her loving children, Lindsey (Robert) McDivitt of Ann Arbor. Mich., Tessa Billman of Minneapolis and Peter (Lisa) Gravett of Duluth; and her brother, Derrick Storm of Cape Town, South Africa. She was a beloved grandma to Paul, Merin, Claudia, Gabriella, Lynn (Tony), and great-grandma to Carter, Joshua and Zachary.

 

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Rochester at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 25, 2011.

A memorial and dedication of Lakeshore's "Joan Gravett Outdoor Classroom" will take place in Duluth in the near future.

In lieu of flowers, the family would be most grateful for any gifts directed to these organizations: Hartley Nature Center in Duluth, the Joan Gravett Fund at the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and the ALS/MD Associations of Minnesota.

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