Joan Elizabeth Jurgensen
Joan Elizabeth Jurgensen, age 76, rested in peace on February 18th at home with her husband, Craig, by her side. Joan was born in Canada on January 25, 1941 to John and Edith Mills. Joan would forever document her Canadian birthplace in Montreal with a 2x3” plastic registration card which she kept safely in a tiny jewelry box for the rest of her life. The Mills family immigrated into the US in 1950. Joan grew up in Pennington, New Jersey and attended public school. Later in 1963 she graduated from Bates College in Maine and went on to obtain a teaching certificate. After teaching first grade for five years, she made a career decision to be a stay-at-home mother to her three young children – Heather, Susan, and John. The Jurgensen family of five established a permanent residence in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1972 where they formed many strong community relationships.
Joan’s eventual fulltime (and overtime) work as a community volunteer consisted of selfless service to many institutions and non-profit organizations including The Bosler Library, Bosler Friends Board (Emeritus member), Bosler auction, Youth Ballet, Stevens Mental Health Center, Carlisle Hospital, and most abundantly St. John’s Episcopal Church. As a Life member of the St. John’s Vestry, she chaired many of the Church’s construction projects over more than three decades. She also chaired the year-long recognition of St. John’s 250th anniversary in 1995. In 2016, the governing board nominated Joan to be an Emeritus member of the Church Vestry.
Joan’s still, small voice of calm found abundant creative expression in her prolific writings. Using her artful handwriting and a dedicated portion of almost every day, Joan wrote: a book of love letters to Craig, a pack of letters from Korea during Craig’s Army assignment, a shelf full of diaries spanning 55 years (!), a 3-inch thick album of recipes, a box of Christmas letters, a large file of personalized address cards, a portfolio of minutes from construction projects at St. John’s Church (now on file in the Cumberland County Historical Society), a stack of travel journals from 30 tours across the world, a sheaf of academic papers presented to the Travelers Club, and a trove of precisely labeled family photographs. Joan edited the mammoth Jurgensen ancestral story which had been collected by her father-in-law, Charles Jurgensen. The enormous quantity and sentimental quality of Joan’s writings over her lifetime represent, in essence, her love of all life and her joy in living.
Joan is survived by her now lonely husband, Craig, plus three adult children – Heather and her partner Yaroslav (Germany), Susan and her husband John Somers (Richmond, Virginia), John and his wife, Ruth Jurgensen (Chicago, Illinois); twin sister Judy and her husband Charles Jurgensen (New Jersey); brother Peter Mills (New Jersey); grandchildren Jack and Ellie Somers, Adrian Ivanenko, Penn Jurgensen; sister-in-law Alice Strack (Pennsylvania); plus cousins in Canada and numerous nieces and nephews from across the United States.
A Requiem Eucharist will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, On the Square in Carlisle, with Rev. David Bateman officiating. Inurnment will be private in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd Columbarium at the church. Visitation and fellowship will immediately follow the service in the Parish Hall. Memorial contributions in Joan’s name may be made to the Heritage Fund at the Church. Ewing Brothers Funeral Home assisted the family with the arrangements. Visit www.Since1853.com to send condolences.