Dr. Joan Louise Farrell, 88, passed away peacefully on June 14, 2020. She was born August 17, 1931 in Buffalo, New York. She moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in 1989, and ultimately elected to retire there.
Joan had a long and rewarding career in health sciences. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at SUNY Buffalo, and first worked as a school nurse at the Eggertsville Elementary School. She studied to obtain her Master’s Degree in Nursing at the SUNY Buffalo School of Nursing, and worked to develop nursing education programs in respiratory therapy for nurse practitioners. She then completed her studies and achieved a PhD in Health Policy and Economics from SUNY Buffalo, accepting a position as Dean of the School of Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University.
In 1988, she accepted a position as Dean of Health Sciences at the University of North Florida, and during her tenure was instrumental in developing, establishing and fundraising for programs in the Brooks College of Health. She remained in this leadership position until 1998 and remained on faculty afterwards as emeritus at Brooks College of Health, where she instructed PhD students in grant writing and research design.
In a collaborative effort with the Christ Episcopal Church of Ponte Vedra, Florida and the Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital. Joan worked to establish a program named Godly Play: An Intervention for Improving Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Responses of Chronically Ill Hospitalized Children.
Outside of work, Joan enjoyed traveling both for pleasure and work. She traveled extensively through Europe, China, the United States, Central America, South America and Mexico. Joan was an avid reader, artist and bridge player.
Joan is survived by daughters Tracey and Candace, sons-in-law Verne and Michael, and grandchildren Leah, Elizabeth, Annie, Farrell and Vince. She welcomed her first great-grandchild, Amelia Gayle, on March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 19 at 10:00 AM at Christ Church, Ponte Vedra Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Godly Play, Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Drive, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082.