On the evening of January 27, 2016, Joan passed away at her home from natural causes. She had enjoyed a wonderful day visiting with a dear friend as they celebrated her 81st birthday.
Knowing Joan, was knowing joy. Regardless of the circumstance, Joan always found the good in any situation and was one of the first to offer laughter and a positive perspective. She exemplified a life of loving others, as evidenced by the many lives she touched throughout her years. For Joan, family and friends were everything. She loved people and gave so freely of herself, never expecting anything in return. To say she loved extraordinarily would not be an exaggeration.
Frances Joan Lawson Ellis was born in the town of Posey in Lubbock County, Texas on January 18, 1935. She was the first born child to Fannie Ola and James Delbert Lawson.
Joan’s early years were spent growing up in west Texas where the rows of corn and cotton stretched for miles. She shared stories of playing in the fields as a child and had fond memories of time spent with her family. At the age of 10, her family moved across the state to Houston. She graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1953.
After high school, Joan went to work for Aetna Insurance and then later at the Champion Paper Mill. It was at Champion where she would meet her future husband, Harold Ellis. The two were married on May 2, 1958 at Sunset Methodist Church in Pasadena, Texas.
Together, Harold and Joan dove into raising their three beautiful children. Joan embraced motherhood, and she was so very proud of her children. She rejoiced when she later became a grandmother, and then a great grandmother.
In 1974, Joan went to work for Deer Park ISD in the south campus library. She helped countless students learn and continued spreading her optimism and joy with all she met. After twenty years of service, she retired from the school.
Joan loved to travel, and she and Harold took many trips all over the United States. When she was not traveling, she was engaged in one of her hobbies. She loved to crochet, cross-stitch, and show her love to her family by cooking amazing meals. So many laughs were shared around her table by family and friends as she poured out love in every dish.
Joan was preceded in death by her husband Harold W. Ellis, son Randall W. Ellis, mother Fannie O. Lawson, and father James D. Lawson.
Joan is survived by her daughter Rebecca Ellis Stracener and husband W.J. Stracener of Caldwell, Texas, son Larry R. Ellis and wife Cheryl Ellis of Franklin, Tennessee, daughter-in-law Karen Ellis of Magnolia, Texas, sister Pat Anderson of Pasadena, Texas, many nieces and nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00am Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at Niday-Fairmont Funeral Home, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at South Park Cemetery in Pearland.