April 4, 1955 – November 22, 2019
Joan Madden passed away in her Arlington, Virginia home on Friday, November 22, 2019. She was 64.
Joan was born to Dorothy and Robert Madden on April 4,1955 in Honolulu, Hawaii, where her father was stationed with the U.S. Navy. She was the fifth of their eight children. Shortly after her birth the family returned stateside, living in California, Nebraska and finally in Virginia which Joan made her life-long home.
Joan lived her life with Cerebral Palsy, and while it challenged her, she always found ways to thrive, and lived a full, independent and accomplished life. Joan was the first person in a wheelchair to attend a Fairfax County high school. Joan was a graduate of Langley High School, McLean, VA, class of 1973. She went on to college, graduating with honors from St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, NC in 1978.
Following college, Joan continued to blaze trails. She was one of the first disabled professionals hired by the US Department of Education. Joan earned a number of merit-based promotions and service awards during her time with the Department, and retired with more than 30 successful years of service.
Joan was known to be feisty, courageous, determined and smart. When she wasn’t working, Joan loved her opportunities to travel, especially when she fulfilled a dream of traveling to Paris, and was able to visit her beloved Hawaii.
Joan was a talented artist. She loved to paint and draw, and even tried her hand at creative writing. Joan loved classic black & white movies, trying new local restaurants with friends, but perhaps her greatest joy came from time spent with her family, especially her many wonderful nieces, nephews, and their little ones.
Joan is survived by her seven siblings, and their families, including 11 nieces and nephews, and eight grand-nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, December 16, 2019 from 10:30am-12:30pm at Murphy Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joan’s memory to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/).
- St Jude Children’s Research Hospital
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Murphy Funeral Homes
4510 Wilson Boulevard
December 5, 2019
One of the first things I thought of when I heard the sad news of your departure from planet Earth was the middle name with which you were blessed at birth. You have now become that beautiful name--Leilani--which means Heavenly Flower or Royal Child of Heaven. May you live forever surrounded by the spirit of Aloha.