Joan Machalski Beesley, 83, of Granger, IN, passed away with family and caring Hospice nurses by her side after a long illness.
She was born January 19,1938, in South Bend, IN, to Henry and Margaret (Przybysz) Machalski. As a lifelong lover of art and education, she earned her B.S. in Design from the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Michigan in 1960 along with a Teaching Certificate in 1961. At Michigan, she was a member of Phi Mu and a campus leader. She served as their co-chairman for the largest, annual campus-wide charity and social event called, “Michigras.” Joan was an ardent Wolverine fan and proudly wore the Michigan “Maize” color and incorporated it into her interior design.
In 1992, she earned an M.S. in Education, with top honors, from Indiana University. Shortly after her marriage to her former husband (Norman L. Beesley of McKees Rocks, PA), she moved with him to Yokosuka, Japan, for his time as a Naval Officer. While there, she developed a passion for Japanese culture, art, Ikebana flower design, cooking, taught school and English language, and made lifetime friends.
Over the years, Joan was employed as a graphic designer and real estate agent, but serving as an art teacher for local parochial schools (St. Adelbert and St. Thomas Schools and St. Joe High School) was her greatest accomplishment.
She resided 20 years at the home she custom-built in the Wellington Lakes neighborhood and the last four years at Story Point of Granger Assisted Living Community. At Story Point, she made many friends and served as their art docent, bringing much joy and activities for fellow residents. Her favorite CNA, Debra Ford, took loving care of her and became a close friend.
She was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, a chairperson with the South Bend Women’s Art League, Tri Kappa, garden clubs, and more.
“Gramma Bee” was a dedicated mom and beloved grandmother, teaching her kids all about art and its importance in our lives. She enjoyed traveling throughout Asia early in her life, many beach vacations, Christmas Eve, gardening, and a good glass of wine or a margarita with a view.
She cherished memories with family and friends at her Donnell Lake (Vandalia, MI) property for 40 years and as a child with her parents. She’ll lovingly be remembered boating at sunset in her red, vintage speed boat at “The Cottage.”
Joan is survived by her twins, Dr. Brian J. (Charles L. Kumpar) Beesley of Columbus, OH, and Brenda B. (Dr. Charles A.) Hurst of Chesteron, IN, two grandchildren, Andrew J. Hurst of Solana Beach, CA, and Abigail R. Hurst of Brooklyn, NY,her ex-husband, Norman L. Beesley, and many loving cousins in Indiana and South Carolina.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday October 9, 2021 at St. Pius X Catholic Church at 12:00 pm. A visitation will take place for one hour prior to the mass. Entombment will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. To leave online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com
Special Note: The Funeral Mass may be viewed via livestream at the following links.
Stpius.net or facebook.com/stpiusgranger
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