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.