Westmont Magazine In Memory of Joan Griset
Joan Griset ’68, 55, died Jan. 25, 2002, after a four-year fight with breast cancer. Born July 27, 1946, in Santa Ana, Calif., she graduated from Santa Ana Valley High School in 1964 and attended Westmont College. After several years, she left to take flight attendant training and worked for TWA for two years. She got to see many new parts of the world and worked with the Tom Dooley Foundation in Nepal in a Tibetan refugee camp and in a leprosarium.
Joan returned to Westmont and graduated in 1971 and then earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of Santa Clara. These educational accomplishments didn’t prevent her from working as a Gullivers serving wench, an activity that helped her perfect her understanding of people.
She lived in the Bay Area and was active in Peninsula Bible Church. In addition to post-graduate work at CSU San Jose, Joan completed an apprenticeship with 3,000 hours of counseling adolescent females under the supervision of a Christian psychiatrist. She hosted Bible studies and made many friends. She was famous for having home parties where Tupperware or cosmetics or even wrenches were themes.
Joan joined the psychology faculty of Simpson College in Burlingame in 1975, where she taught for two years before turning to real estate. Until 1992 she had a varied career selling condominiums and working in commercial leasing and property management. In 1984, she moved to Southern California and took a job with Trammel Crow. Later she migrated to Cushman & Wakefield before completing her real estate career with the Amos Krausz Cos.
Joan affiliated with the Mariners Church in Newport Beach and was active in the singles ministry there. She continued her tradition of hosting Bible studies and became the Orange County Westmont alumni chapter leader.
Following a significant setback in her real estate career, Joan took up residence with her parents in Santa Ana in 1992 and returned to her childhood church, Calvary Church, where she became one of its more active members. In the last 10 years of her life, Joan did the work a typical volunteer might need a lifetime to accomplish.
Throughout much of her life Joan had an abiding hope for a Christian marriage and a family well-stocked with children. These hopes were never realized. Her nieces and nephews, as well as the children of dear friends, became that family.
In March 1998 Joan learned she had the most aggressive kind of breast cancer. She underwent the nearly life-ending ordeal of massive chemotherapy, a stem-cell transplant, radiation and more chemotherapy.
To the amazement of the UCI medical staff, Joan recovered, which was an assurance she had yet more Christian service to give. She made the most of her last years and found new ways to encourage and help others, especially as a recovering cancer patient. Through all of these daunting challenges Joan refused to complain.
In November 2001 Joan lost her famous verve and energy as the cancer swept through her body in full force. As she welcomed God’s will in her life, she reminded each of us that she was ready to find her rest in God’s safekeeping and joy.
Joan is survived by many family members, including her parents and her sister, Marilyn Griset Monahan ’69.