Joan Cunningham Sleeper 86, passed away peacefully with loving family at her side at Harbor House in Hingham, MA on February 13th after a brief illness.
Born in Brockton on September 6th, 1930 she was the daughter of Grace Stringer Cunningham and Guy Washington Cunningham. Raised in Whitman, MA she was a lifelong lover and practitioner of the arts, receiving a degree in music from Boston University in 1952 and earning a Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges recognition her senior year. As a student she sang the lead in multiple stage productions such as Brigadoon and South Pacific. During and after college she was a frequent of Boston’s lively jazz scene singing standards and even scat in nightclubs or at private parties. Her childhood summers were spent at Blackmans Point in Brant Rock or Oldham Pond in Pembroke. Following college she taught elementary school in Abington, Milton and Cohasset. Moving to Marshfield after her marriage, Joan became very active in her community. She and a small core of friends, founded Steeple School at Trinity Church, and Seaside Gardeners. She is remembered fondly for teaching piano from her home in Marshfield for over 20 years. Joan was an avid bridge player, tennis player and golfer and took up pastel painting later in life. Her intellectual curiosity and breadth of knowledge of the fine arts were a marked part of her personality. Trips to London and Paris were spent searching out her favorite paintings, especially the Turner collection at the Tate Gallery which she recalled with great frequency.
Beloved Wife of 57 years of the late Myron Simpson Sleeper of Marshfield, loving father of Johanna Bickford and her husband Peter Bickford of Hingham MA, and Myron “Mike” Sleeper and his wife Laurie Sleeper of Marshfield. He was also the cherished grandfather to John Alessi of Burlington, VT and Benjamin and Sarah Sleeper of Marshfield.
A memorial service is planned for the spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the North River Arts Society P.O. Box 307, Marshfield Hills, MA 02051 www.northriverarts.org.
A service summary is not available