Cover photo for Joan A. Martin-Harris's Obituary
Joan A. Martin-Harris Profile Photo
In Memory Of
Joan A. Martin-Harris
1933 2024

Joan A. Martin-Harris

July 7, 1933 — March 25, 2024

After a brief illness, Joan A. Martin-Harris transitioned peacefully in her sleep on Monday, March 25, 2024. She was born in Toledo, Ohio to the late William and Florence (Bledsoe) Martin on July 7, 1933. Preceding her also in death were Sisters: Mrs. Evelyn Walker, Mrs. Kathryn Strawder, Mrs. Charlotte Wheatly, and Mrs. Audrey Thomas; Brothers: Cecil, William Jr., Vernon and Carl Martin.

Joan was a 1951 graduate of Jesup W. Scott High School. She earned her Bachelor of Education degree in elementary education from the University of Toledo, a Master of Education degree as a Reading Specialist from Bowling Green State University in 1976 and over thirty hours towards a PHD at the University of Toledo.

First Church of God was the foundation and up-bringing of Joan's religious activities and beliefs. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at a very early age and was a member there for many, many years. Later she joined Third Baptist Church and most recently she became of member of Braden United Methodist Church under the leadership of Rev. Cecil J. Thompson. Joan thoroughly enjoyed attending weekly services. After moving to Dayton, Ohio, she remained connected to the church through their on-line Sunday morning Facebook services and the conference call bible study sessions.

Joan began her teaching career with the Toledo Public School system at Gunckel Elementary. She also taught in the Cleveland and Dayton Public School systems. Upon returning to Toledo, she taught at Walbridge Elementary for over 20 years before her retirement.

Being very civic minded, Joan was affiliated with several organizations and involved in many community programs and projects such as: the Toledo School Women's Bowling League (where she bowled well into her 80's), the Committee for Racial Justice at the YWCA, Committee for Making a Difference at Planned Parenthood and the Lathrop House Committee which sought to preserve this 1850 home where runaway slaves were hidden on their trek to freedom.

Joan loved African-American History and Culture. She proudly served on the board of the Art Tatum African-American Resource Center and was one of the original members of the Citizens Advisory Committee. She and her long time friend, the late Jonnie Taylor, traveled to many cities to participate in conferences for the Study of African-American Life and History. Ladies of the Manor was another group that Joan affiliated with. These ladies would portray various African-American women in history to elementary and junior high school students. She loved portraying Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

Other professional organizations that Joan belonged to were: Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Zeta Alpha Omega Chapter where she served as Recording Secretary and Chaired the Black Family, Connections and Global Impact Committees and The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. where she was a past president, youth advisor and chaired others committee activities. She was a Life Member of the latter two organizations. As a retired educator, Joan truly enjoyed working with young children and teens, spending time tutoring and advising in all of these organizations.

In addition to her educational endeavors, Joan's bag was always packed! She loved to travel. She has been to most of our southern states, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, New England, Canada, Mexico, South America, West and South Africa, French Morocco, Egypt, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany and the Ukraine.

Joan was loved by not only her special friends and others but her family, all who valued her love and friendship. To name them all would be like authoring a book.

The strong, confident woman that Joan was, was replicated from her own dear mother who exemplified an indelible spiritual force upon her life. They were both very wise women who loved to share their experiences and give sound advice to those who surrounded them. The pitch of their voices when they greeted you was pure love and will forever resonate in so many hearts. They always had positive, encouraging words stressing the importance of a good education.

Joan A. Martin-Harris was well-seasoned and dressed. She was always ready to give her teacher firmness, wisdom, and unconditional love, especially to her family so that they would be able to carry on that Martin legacy with pride.

The nieces, nephews, grand and great-grands of "Aunt Joan"( as she was affectionately known), were located in enough places around the world to have kept her busy sharing information, texting and calling. They were very blessed to have had her on their journey throughout their lives. She was genuinely Loved Beyond Measure.

Visitation will take place on April 20, 2024 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Braden United Methodist Church, 4725 Dorr St, Toledo, OH 43615. A memorial service will follow starting at 11:00 am.

To share a memory of Joan or to leave a special message for her family, please visit www.NewcomerDayton.com.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan A. Martin-Harris, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Braden United Methodist Church

4725 Dorr Street, Toledo, OH 43615

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Braden United Methodist Church

4725 Dorr Street, Toledo, OH 43615

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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