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Joan Joaquin Wood smiling

Joan Joaquin Wood, 95, a longtime THD member active in the Planning & Zoning Committee, passed away on August 9, 2023, surrounded by friends and family. Joan was born in 1928 to Yuill Joaquin and Marie Schlichting Joaquin and raised on a farm in Sutter. At the age of seventeen, she attended Stanford University where she finished with a major in Psychology in 1948.
After graduating, Joan spent several years exploring what San Francisco had to offer during the 1950's including exposure to the arts and, especially, the world of jazz and the Beats. She was at the first reading of Howl at the Six Gallery on October 7, 1955; was a cocktail waitress at Vesuvio during its heyday; and was a regular at Vanessi’s Restaurant, Buena Vista Café, and the jazz clubs in North Beach like the Jazz Workshop.


Eventually, she found a long career working for the Department of Social Services of San Francisco. This culminated in a position as supervisor for the Welfare Department. She ultimately worked 29 years for the City of San Francisco. She was also a single mother during this time.
Upon retirement, she became an activist. Her causes included protecting North Beach from developers and chain stores and trying to ensure that Golden Gate Park would not replace its real grass with Astroturf in some recreational areas.
She was known for her tenacity, strong character, sense of style, and her tremendous generosity to help those in need. 
Joan is survived by her daughters, Sarah Kliban and grandson Benjamin Kliban of San Francisco; Linda Dyer of Tucson, grandson Colin Dyer of Oakland, and great-grandson Whitney.

Today's Topics

Telegraph Hill Dwellers

Your Neighborhood Voice

Our Mission

Founded in 1954 and one of the oldest community organizations in San Francisco, Telegraph Hill Dwellers (THD) has worked hard for more than sixty years to make Telegraph Hill, North Beach and the Northeast Waterfront a better place to live for everyone, everywhere – not just those of us lucky enough to live here, but as Stewards of the Hill, for people who come from all over the world to see and experience this special place. 

Celebrate History & Traditions

Founded in 1954, Telegraph Hill Dwellers is one of the oldest and widely respected neighborhood organizations in the country.

THD was originally formed by a group of concerned residents to protect the land where they lived.

Beautify & Improve

Telegraph Hill is a beautiful oasis in the heart of San Francisco. One of the core missions of THD is to maintain and improve the beauty of our surroundings.

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Build Community

For many of the residents of North Beach and Telegraph Hill, our community feels like a small town in the midst of a big city. THD is a place to meet your fellow neighbors and get involved.  

Preserve & Protect

Since 1954, THD has worked to preserve and protect the unique character and special historic part of San Francisco for all that live here and travel from around the world to see our neighborhood.  

Engage in City Affairs

Over the past six decades, THD has been instrumental in promoting the 40 foot height limit ordinance, residential parking sticker program, and designating Telegraph Hill and North Beach as Historic Districts, to name a few efforts.

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