Joan Eleanor Caldwell was born on February 22, 1932 in Greenwich and passed away peacefully on April 2, 2017 with her family at her side. She devoted her life to public service, becoming one of only three members to serve on the Representative Town Meeting for 52 consecutive years. She is predeceased by her parents Viola Petrelli Caldwell and William Tipton Caldwell of Greenwich, and nephew Christopher William Caldwell of Trumbull.
She is survived by her sisters Linda Caldwell Couig (Donald) and Diane Caldwell and her brother William Tipton Caldwell Jr. of Greenwich. She is also survived by nieces and nephews: Lesley Couig Walters (John) of Trumbull, William Caldwell Couig (Ashley) of New York City, Charles William Caldwell of East Dover,Vermont and Patricia Jayne Caldwell of North Haven. In addition, she is survived by grand nieces and nephews: Wyatt Pendleton, Stephen Walters, Keira Couig, Holly Caldwell and Jack Caldwell.
Joan earned a Business Administration degree from Skidmore College and graduate degree from NYU Stern School of Business. For most of her career, she worked in industrial relations and labor management. She held positions at General Electric and Continental Can Company, worked for the American Economic Foundation for New York and later for the law firm of Davidson Driscoll.
Joan was a staunch advocate for preserving Greenwich’s open space and heritage. As property manager for Brant Allen Industries, Joan served as lead professional in developing the Conyers Farm site in northeast Greenwich into residential lots. The construction and development of the land, nearly twice the size of Manhattan’s Central Park, was the first of its kind in conservation development in the Town. Joan also assisted in preserving open space during the development of the former Gimbel estate.
Joan was an advocate for the northwest corner of Greenwich, as longtime President and member of the Northwest Greenwich Homeowners Association. She was instrumental in having the Merritt Parkway placed on the National Register of Historical Places to safeguard its place in history as one of the first scenic parkways in the nation. On behalf of Connecticut property owners, she mobilized support against the expansion of New York’s Westchester County Airport and fought the commercialization of residential real estate next to the Airport for corporate use. Joan advocated for greater firefighting resources for Greenwich residents living in a remote area of the Town, and for keeping the Thomas Seton Reservation property under local ownership of Boy Scouts of America, Greenwich Council.
Joan held many volunteer positions, including leading Utilize Senior Energy, an agency founded by her late mother to help seniors find employment. Of the many honors she received during her lifetime, Joan was presented with the YWCA Spirit of Greenwich Award in 2010, which honors women who exemplify volunteerism and philanthropy in the community.
She also received the Liberty Bell Award from the Greenwich Bar Association in 2016, which is presented to a non-lawyer who has fostered a sense of civic responsibility, contributed to good government and performed outstanding community service.
Joan loved classical music. For over twenty years, she sang in the choir at Our Lady of Mercy in Port Chester, NY and volunteered with the church’s Altar Society. Joan loved her family, her dogs and the outdoors. Above all, she loved doing for others. In celebration of Joan’s life, the family would appreciate donations in her name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Calling hours are at Knapp Funeral Home on Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 8 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church 178 Greenwich Avenue.