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Joan Doezema Clarahan

November 19, 1955 October 11, 2018
Joan Doezema Clarahan
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Obituary for Joan Doezema Clarahan

Joan Clarahan PT, GCFP (nee Doezema) was born on November 19, 1955 in Kalamazoo, Michigan to the union of Dr. Edward and Elizabeth Doezema. At the age of 9, she moved with her family to Ann Arbor, Michigan. In Ann Arbor, she graduated from Huron High School having been on the varsity tennis team and a Junior Olympian gymnast. She spent whole summers at the family cottage on Lake Michigan romping with her many cousins. She was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor traveling to Burkina Faso, Africa on a mission when she was 17.

Joan went on to major in pre-medicine in the College of Wooster, but got the modern dance bug from her grandmother Doris Dean. She returned to Ann Arbor attending the University of Michigan, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She moved to New York City earning a position in the Mary Anthony Dance Company during its peak years. Ten years of dance left Joan with career ending injuries. So Joan earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Grand Valley State University. She followed that with certification to practice the Feldenkrais Method of Physical Therapy. She helped many patients mostly at the Detroit Medical Center Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan over 20 years. Upon medical retirement related to those old injuries, Joan became involved in her community.

She used her 20 years of Tai Chi training to become a certified teacher. She had conducted Tai Chi classes for arthritis and fall prevention at the Richardson Senior Center in Commerce, Michigan, in the 7 years since her retirement. She was elected as secretary of her neighborhood community association for a year and then as treasurer/president for the next six years. Joan merged the passions of her grandmother in dance and Tai Chi, her mother in math and problem solving (as she was a Japanese code breaker in WWll), and her father in music and medicine. Joan was a Mayflower descendent of the union of ship’s cooper John Alden and passenger Priscilla Mullins. She was totally devoted to providing daily care to her aging mother since 2012.

Joan was the cherished wife of James "Clancy" Clarahan Major, US Army (Ret) whom she married in August 2003 while he was a JROTC Instructor in Detroit Public Schools. She immediately fell in love with step-son James Jr and wife Megan (nee Fry) and their sons Thomas and John, as well as, step- son Andrew and Selma Pedrotte. She was the dear sister of Peggy and husband Carl Leonard with their children, Ben, Nate, Thomas and Anna and brother Bob and wife Barbara (nee Callahan). She was preceded in death by her father, Dr Edward Doezema, at age 93 in May 2012. Her mother still lives at age 96. Joan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on August 27. It claimed her life six weeks later on October 11, 2018.

Joan had an inspirational ability to find the best qualities in even the most challenging people. She was selfless, adventurous, loving, graceful, bright and beautiful. She is certainly dancing in heaven.

Joan’s life will be celebrated with a memorial service on Saturday October 20, 2018 at 1 pm at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 340 N. Pontiac Trail (3 blocks south of Maple Rd) in Walled Lake. During the service there will be an opportunity to share a memory or story of Joan. Friends may visit the funeral home beginning at 12:30 pm.

For those who wish to make a memorial contribution in Mrs. Clarahan’s memory her family suggests donation to the Richardson Senior Center in Commerce Twp.

Previous Events

Memorial Gathering

Saturday

20

Oct

12:30 PM 10/20/2018 12:30:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Home - Walled Lake

340 North Pontiac Trail
Walled Lake, MI 48390

Lynch & Sons Funeral Home - Walled Lake
340 North Pontiac Trail Walled Lake 48390 MI
United States

Memorial Service

Saturday

20

Oct

1:00 PM 10/20/2018 1:00:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Home - Walled Lake

340 North Pontiac Trail
Walled Lake, MI 48390

Lynch & Sons Funeral Home - Walled Lake
340 North Pontiac Trail Walled Lake 48390 MI
United States

Memorial Contribution

RIchardson Senior Center

1485 E. Oakley Park Rd.
Commerce Twp, MI 48390
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