E. Joan Nolan, age 89, passed away peacefully on November 19, 2021 with her family by her side. Joan was the wife of the late Franklin J. Nolan, who predeceased her in 1990 after sharing 35 years of marriage together. From her birth on April 25th,1932 until her death, she nurtured all those around her with love, kindness,and faith. Born to Harold and Elizabeth (Mulholland) Balch in Lynn, MA, she graduated from St. Mary’s High School and Salem Teachers College.
She grew up spending summers on Great Neck in Ipswich with her family and enjoyed many days of sun, sand, and boating. Joan and her husband Frank permanently moved to Great Neck in 1965 to raise their family. In addition to spending time on Great Neck, Joan enjoyed skiing with her family and went on many adventures traveling the world with her husband.
Joan’s career in education led her to open her own preschool, Teacher Tot Kindergarten and later, to Christ Child Nursery in Lynn MA, where she served as principal for over 20 years. Upon her retirement from education, she worked in the office of Dr. Irwin Nathanson in Danvers until the age of 75.
Joan was a very active member of St. Joseph’s/Our Lady of Hope Parish in Ipswich, where she and her husband helped to start the church’s Couples Club, she served as a eucharistic minister and was a member of the Catholic Women’s Club including serving as its president.
Joan’s life flourished upon the arrival of her grandchildren, of whom she was extremely devoted to and proud of. Joan volunteered at the Ipswich Visitor’s Center, sharing her knowledge of the town that she loved. She enjoyed many days socializing at the Ipswich Council on Aging and traveling with her group of close friends. Joan was a talented knitter and a lover of books from a very young age. Her appetite for reading never ceased.
To her family and close friends, Joan will always be remembered for her sweet smile, generosity and the endless love she had in her heart for all those around her.
She is survived by her beloved children and their spouses, Beth Curtis Gray and her husband Peter of Wakefield, MA, her son Jim Nolan and his wife Elsa of Madeira Beach, FL, and her daughter Barb Gouzie and her husband Tom of Ipswich, MA. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Lauren Gouzie Fonvielle and her husband Blake, and Jeffrey Gouzie of Ipswich, MA, Jaime Nolan of Hudson, FL, and her step-grandchildren, Abby Jones and Eric Gray. Joan is also survived by her brother Jack Balch and his wife Kitty of Hudson, NH. Joan was also a devoted aunt to many nieces and nephews and their families. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her sister Barbara Balch Ingari and her son-in-law Richard Curtis.
Joan’s funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, December 1st, at 10 am at Our Lady of Hope Church, 1 Pineswamp Road, Ipswich. Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, November 30th from 5-7 pm at the Morris Funeral Home, 45 North Main Street, Ipswich. The family respectfully asks that masks be worn inside the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joan’s name may be made to Our Lady of Hope Church, 1 Pineswamp Road, Ipswich or to Ipswich Caring, PO. Box 584, Ipswich or www.ipswichcaring.org. To send a letter of condolence to Joan’s family please go to: MorrisFH.com .