Joan Alaine Thom of Bowman, ND and Rancho Mirage, CA passed away at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage on May 16, 2019. She was 89 years old.
Memorial services for Joan will be on June 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Bowman United Methodist Church in Bowman
Joan was born on May 2, 1930, in Albany, NY to Reverend Maynard and Ada (Whetmath Rosboro) Booth. She graduated from Mount Royal High School in Montreal and received her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University in Nova Scotia and a Bachelor of Library Science from McGill University in Montreal. While working in the medical library at McGill she met Dr. Robert Thom. They married in 1955, moving to Regina, Saskatchewan and Neepawa, Manitoba before settling in Bowman, ND, their much loved hometown of 62 years.
Joan was fascinated by the world around her and traveled to see it from an early age. In their early teens, she and her sister biked from Montreal down through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and shortly after graduating from university she embarked with a friend on a steamer cargo ship to Europe, the Mediterranean, and Egypt. Travel was a constant during her marriage to Bob; they traveled throughout Canada, Europe, and Mexico with family as well as with friends from North Dakota and California. This past fall, Joan cruised the Pacific Rim for 85 days taking in parts of Russia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Australia before returning to Rancho Mirage in December. She was interested in everything she saw and everyone she met, no matter who they were or what their role in life.
Joan loved Bowman, the Bowman community and the people there. She and Bob enjoyed dancing and learned to square dance when square dancing became popular. They were always on the dance floor at the Flagstone on Friday nights. A gifted organist, pianist and conductor, Joan started the still thriving Bowman Community Chorus upon arrival in her new home, and she conducted and sang many concerts with that group. She offered piano lessons, eventually teaching a full-time studio at home, taking only Wednesday afternoons off for her weekly bridge group. She, along with Marilyn Oakland, provided the organ music for the Bowman United Methodist Church for decades. As a piano teacher and mentor she encouraged countless young people, many of whom pursued collegiate studies in piano and voice.
In 1990 Joan and Bob purchased a home in Rancho Mirage Country Club and split their time between Rancho Mirage and Bowman. Joan quickly saw a need for book-sharing amongst the homeowners and started a library for the association that is still in operation. She loved to entertain, and she threw memorable parties for friends at the country club. Joan loved the desert in all seasons, and after hiking with her son and daughter-in-law in Colorado she began to organize desert hikes for her friends in California, taking friends throughout the Coachella Valley to explore.
Joan adored her grandsons, Caelan and Bryce, visiting Boulder, CO, and points across the globe in order to follow their personal and athletic events. Over the past 15 years she attended baseball games and swim meets, and walked triathlon routes to see them compete and to cheer them on.
Joan is survived by her children Patty Thom of Boston, MA, Brian (Julene) Thom of Louisville, CO, and Carol (Mohi Khairandish) Thom of Los Angeles, CA; two grandsons, Bryce and Caelan Thom; her sister Barbara Mallory; sister-in-law Maria Booth; caregiver and friend Marlene Osuna; and well-loved nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Bob, who passed away in February 2018, her parents Maynard and Ada, as well as her stepmother, Leila Booth, and her brother, Rodney.