Joan was born in Salt Lake City on May 4, 1932, to Fred W. and Lillian Austin Schwendiman. She passed away on September 28, 2020 peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family to whom she had devoted her life. To Joan, family and loving them was everything. She had a full life. Survived by 8 children, Leo (Anna), Lynn (Maria Martinez-Siemel), Lucy (Christopher Martin), Pauline (Bob) Blomquist, Hal, Sue (Rick) Wortley, Marcy (Mark) Jenkins, Mary (Jeremy) Brown, 48 grandchildren, and 32 great grandchildren. Each year on their birthday every one of these 95 family members could count on a special birthday phone call, usually accompanied by the “Happy Birthday” song, showing her support, and offering to help them in any way possible. Joan always strived to make sure that each member of her family felt personally loved, accepted, and special no matter their age, their circumstances or even where they were in the world. She was the only one in the family who knew everyone’s name, their birthday, and what they liked most in life.
Joan grew up with three older brothers. She attended South High School and the University of Utah where she was very active in school, holding many leadership positions. After marrying the love of her life, Hugh L. Sharp on June 6, 1952, in the Salt Lake Temple, she then decided to devote the remainder of her life to her family. They were married for 50 years before Hugh’s passing in 2002.
Joan truly exemplified these words – “As ye have done it unto one of these the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Everyone who knew Mom would be able to recall when she gave of herself to help, bless, comfort, humor, laugh, or make their life better. She always had room in her heart and at her table for stranger and friend alike.
“Grandma Sharp” was funny and endearing to the end. She joked, laughed, loved, forgave, blessed, and healed. One of the most memorable and repeated phrases attributed to Joan was, “Well isn’t that just wonderful!” It truly embodied her bright outlook on everything she did in life, but most importantly when it came to her family.
She has now rejoined her beloved Hugh, without whom she has been for almost two decades, but by whom she was always loved and cherished. Mom will be greatly missed but will always be remembered.
May God wrap his arms and tender mercies around her, welcome her home, and let us forever remember her example of unconditional love, acceptance, humor, determination and perseverance.
We Love You Mom
The Family thanks Dr. Cynthia Lawlor and the hospice and nursing caregivers, all of whom stayed by her side until the very end.
A family graveside service was held on Saturday October 3, 2020 at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
“She outlived them all!”