In loving memory of Joan Dawson
January 12, 1937 – November 5, 2022
Joan Marie Angela Dawson was born on January 12, 1937, in Bulwell, a small town in Nottingham, England. She was the daughter of Leslie Wood and Agnes Dawson.
At a very young age, Joan’s mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis and Joan was sent to live at Nazareth Orphanage where she was cared for by nuns.
Her mother would die from this terrible disease. Her father was overwhelmed and kept Joan at the orphanage and her younger brother, Raymond, at home.
Joan lived at Nazareth Orphanage throughout World War II and until she was 18.
She came to the United States in 1958 to work as a nanny and as a huge fan of Doris Day.
With pride, Joan would tell how, as the President of the Doris Day fan club (presumably in England), she met Doris Day shortly after she arrived in the US.
As Joan would recall, Doris was lovely. Doris and her mother took Joan to tea and also invited Joan to visit her on the set of Calamity Jane. It was there Joan met Rock Hudson.
Joan spent much of her career as a nanny to many celebrities, including Lucille Ball, Donna Reed, and Hugh Hefner. She would describe herself as a “proper British nanny.”
For a short time, she also worked as an assistant to Julie Andrews. Joan called Ms. Andrews her idol because of the Mary Poppins role that Ms. Andrews played.
In her later years, she worked at Paramount on Hard Copy.
Joan was outgoing, friendly, and engaging. She regaled others with stories of her first few decades in the US.
She was proud of her daughter, Glennis, and granddaughter, Gillian.
In the early morning hours on Saturday, November 5, Joan passed away in her sleep in Oceanside, California. She was 85 years old.
Mourning her are her daughter, Glennis Dawson and granddaughter Gillian Pleysier (California), and her brother Ray Dawson (Nottingham).
Services will be held privately for close family and friends.