Joanne Bradford (Whitney) Crowell
Jun 18th, 2022
Joanne Bradford (Whitney) Crowell of Dennis, MA passed away peacefully at home on June 18, 2022. She was the beloved daughter of Elizabeth (Howe) and Lewis Whitney and sister to the late Charles Whitney and his wife, Marlene . She leaves her husband of 59 years, William E. Crowell, Jr. of Dennis, children Bradford and his wife, Kim Crowell, Susy and her husband, Joe Remillard, Aaron and his wife, Betsy Crowell, and Sam and his wife, Mary Crowell, all of Dennis and Yarmouth. She is survived by her sisters-in-law Joanie Crowell of Dennis and Marlene Whitney of Simsbury, CT. She will be missed by her beloved grandchildren, Anna, Catherine, and William Crowell, Hallie, Madeleine and Nellie Stidham, Emma Crowell, and Willa and Charlie Crowell. In her final days, she was surrounded by the love of her family.
Joanne was born in Concord, MA on August 31, 1934 and spent her earliest years on the family’s farm in South Acton, MA. The family moved to Farmington, CT where she completed her schooling, then attended Colby College to study philosophy. There, she began her lifelong interest in writing poetry, garnering the Mary Low Carver Prize for Poetry in 1956. Her love of words continued throughout her life, whether she was zipping through the Sunday crossword or crafting one of her published hymns for the Congregational Church, a place dear to her heart. In later years, she enjoyed book groups with friends and shared her love of language with her grandchildren, reading to them often and instructing them in poetry. Her years of teaching English at John Simpkins School and as one of the original staff at Dennis -Yarmouth Regional High School were remembered fondly as the jobs that brought her to Cape Cod and the new neighbor that would later become her husband, William Crowell.
Joanne and her husband Bill built a life in Dennis, surrounded by family and friends. She raised their four children, wrote, sang, and explored painting. She pursued a masters degree in critical and creative thinking. Her favorite patch of land was her acre of backyard vegetable garden, all organically grown and tenaciously defended against an array of pests. Roaming about the property throughout the years were various collections of ducks, geese, sheep, cats, and dogs, particularly her favorite border collies, May and Moxie. She was a somewhat reluctant sailor and enthusiastic skier, once all the children’s safety straps were fastened. She loved to travel and meet new people from all geographies and life experiences, while keeping her friends close to her heart, especially her roommate, Dorothea Helbling, whom she met while living in Scotland. Joanne had an adventurous spirit, and when she couldn’t physically travel to locations, she explored them in books. As her children roamed the world, they knew that mom would be waiting to welcome them home, eager to hear of their travels. If her pea green Volkswagen bus could have transported her, she would have tagged along.
Known for her intelligence, optimism, wit, and an iron will, Joanne was a dedicated member of the community, serving on the 1976 Bicentennial Commission, the Josiah Dennis Manse Committee, the Dennis Historic Commission, and serving as a docent at the Manse. Throughout the years, you could find her recording the votes for Dennis Precinct 1. She served as the Christian Education Coordinator at Dennis Union Church for many years and created the crop table to share the community’s harvest. Guided by faith and a steady moral compass, she inspired those around her to do and be their best, and her support for those she loved never waivered. She leaves a legacy of commitment, strength, and joy to all who knew and loved her.
Friends and relatives are invited to call at the Hallett Funeral Home, 273 Station Ave., South Yarmouth, MA
on Thursday, June 23 from 4-6 P.M. A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 24 in the Dennis Union Church, Route 6A, Dennis, MA at 11:00 A.M. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center, 2095 Main St., Brewster, 02631 or www.alzfamilysupport.org or to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Brewster Shelter at https://www.arlboston.org