Joan Lovat (Muller) Smith, a longtime resident of Bainbridge Island, died on July 16, 2018 after a brief illness. She was 87 years old.
Born in Ithaca, New York on Jan. 15, 1931 and raised in Cashmere, Washington and then California, Joan attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she met her future husband Martin Smith, who would become the political editor of the McClatchy Newspapers. Joan was a kindergarten teacher in the Sacramento public schools, retiring in 1991. In 1996, she and Martin moved to Bainbridge Island, to be closer to their daughter Catherine Smith. In 2016, she moved to Cincinnati to live near her other daughter Karen Smith.
Joan made friends, embraced new hobbies, and built community wherever life took her. In her fifties, she took up competitive swimming and made lifelong friends through the Masters Swimming family in Sacramento. She even conquered the treacherous Golden Gate, swimming from San Francisco to Marin County. In her sixties, after moving to Bainbridge, she learned to play the trumpet and joined Kitsap County’s Hometown Band. In her seventies, she was at the core of the local walking group, the Bainbridge Striders. In her eighties, she embraced her new life in Cincinnati, learning about and supporting many local charities. She also threw herself into the city’s political scene, hosting many local pols at the Friday afternoon salons she hosted in her apartment.
Joan maintained a zest for life and remained curious and adventurous to her last days. She leaves behind daughters Catherine (Carl Hu) and Karen (Paul De Marco); granddaughters Cindy and Abby Hu of Bellevue; and grandson James Allen of Campbell, California.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Joan’s memory be made to Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Ohio, Christ Church Cathedral of Cincinnati, or the Bellevue Schools Foundation.