Family Login:

Share This Obituary

Send Flowers
 Send Flowers

Joan Harris Wister, daughter of Morrison and Anna Harris of Bala-Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, died on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at the Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield, CT. She had celebrated her 99th birthday on July 20. She was born in 1918 in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia. Joan attended the Shipley School and graduated from St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia in 1937. She served in the Women’s Army Corps from 1942-1945. She married Lewis Wynne Wister of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania in 1949 and joined him at the South Kent School in South Kent, Connecticut, where he taught English and Latin and was Headmaster from 1955 until his retirement in 1969. Their three daughters were born there. Joan was beloved by faculty and students alike; her Sunday teas for students were appreciated as much for her warm and friendly manner as for her delicious fare. On Wynne’s retirement in 1969, the family moved to a ninety-acre tree farm in Barnard, Vermont overlooking the Delectable Mountains, which had been their summer home since 1950. Joan was an avid gardener, an expert seamstress, and she discovered a talent for watercolor painting in her later years. She and Wynne loved travelling in both the U.S. and Europe. She was involved in community activities in both Barnard and Woodstock and was a longtime member of the Altar Guild at St. James Episcopal Church in Woodstock and later at the Chapel at Seabury. She had a kind and encouraging word for everyone, and her sunny, caring disposition fostered a commitment to social equality and supporting those in need. She focused her philanthropy on hunger relief, education, and women and children’s issues. Because one of their daughters is intellectually disabled, her support for this cause had special significance. Her two older sisters Nancy Heckscher and Polly Chadwick-Collins and her husband predeceased her. She is survived by her daughters Sally Wister and husband Dial Parrott of South Glastonbury, CT; Mary Stokes Wister of Springfield, Vermont; and Eliza Wister of Ouray, Colorado; and four grandchildren, W. Samuel Parrott, Maxwell W. Parrott, Wheeler Juell, and Eva Wister-Zaccari. A memorial service will be held at St. James Church in Woodstock, Vermont on Friday, August 25th at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the L. Wynne Wister Scholarship Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 10 Columbus Boulevard, 8th floor, Hartford, CT 06106.

Upcoming Funeral Services

Friday, August 25
11:00 AM    3492517 3590080 20170825T110000

St. James Episcopal Church

2 St. James Place Woodstock, VT 05091
(802) 457-1727