• Samantha Alcaraz

Joan Newman from Wildwood Canyon Villa


Joan Newman- Parents

“My parents both lived in Chicago when they met each other. And they met each other working for universal atlas cement. And my dad was an accountant. My mother was a secretary kind of person. I know that my dad was the ninth of children, number nine of children and that his father died before he was born. He drowned. He was called the little burden to his mother, but he was a wonderful, wonderful, loving, caring dad. And he was a small man. Built like a jockey and where I got my height I don’t know because my dad was about 5’6 and I grew to be 5’10 I was half a head taller than my dad. My mom was around 5’6 so they were about the same.”


Joan Newman - Joan's Hometown

“I was born in Chicago Illinois April 20, 1931. I lived in Florida for 60 years and my husband died when we were in our 30s. We had moved to Florida because he was working with the rockets, the defense industry. So when he passed away we were all still established in Florida and my children were going to school there. So then I went to work and to support the family. And I loved Florida. We lived in Orlando, Winter Park 20 years, for 40 years I lived there. And then the last 20 years I lived in Cape Canaveral. About half a mile from the ocean but when my kids l, two older kids Tom and Jeanie, both because of circumstances lived out here in California. And then Tim said no he was going to stay there and take care of me. Well when he was 43 he worked in plants, landscape, and the outdoors at the University of Central Florida. Director of grounds was his title. And he got exposed to poisons with his work and he developed cancer and he died. When that happened to Tim, Jeanie said that I was gonna have to move out here near her.”


Interviewer: and she takes care of you well!


Jean: Boy she does she’s a wonderful wonderful daughter

Joan Newman - Joan’s Values

Interviewer: What values did your parents stress most about and what do you share about those values as a parent?


Joan: Independence. That you need to care for those you love. I think that was the biggest one.


Interviewer: Do you feel like you shared the same values with your children?


Joan: I think so.


Interviewer: What religion were your parents?


Joan: Episcopal, my dad was Episcopal but then because of where we lived and stuff we all joined the Presbyterian Church.


Interviewer: Who was most influential in your home? I’d say they were, they shared their influence.


Interviewer: When did you leave your parents home?


Joan: Well I met Hal at University of Illinois this is outside of Chicago. I met Hal there and then we both were living back up in Chicago area and had a friendship and then he was inducted into the army. And so we decided to get married so that we could be together. And so that’s where it began. And he was sent to Japan early on. Though, he was a corporal so that he didn’t have enough rank for his wife to be sent over but I worked at the hospital where I’d been in nursing school and earned money and got a ticket on a freighter. I took a freighter out of Portland to Yokohama!



Joan Newman - Joan’s First Job

Interviewer: How did you get your first job and what was it?

Jean: My first job was filing war bonds and a friend of my dad had some sort of an influence on who they were hiring for this. And it was a good job because we were in high school and at Christmas and in the Summer we would go to this warehouse where they had boxes and boxes of war bonds and we had to file them according to their number I think it was.



Joan Newman - Joan Liked School

Interviewer: what did you like or dislike about school?


Joan: I love school I always like to school

Interviewer: What were your favorite memories about your young adulthood and what were your worst memories?


Joan: Well I guess it was meeting Hal and loving him and then I loved what I was doing. I was in nursing school and in those days there were what they called diploma programs and you lived in the dormitory at the hospital when you were in school and so the education was very inexpensive because of that and you went to school during the week and you would work some of those hours and you worked weekends in the hospital and that is what paid for your education.


Transcription and Audio Edit by Ileana Chavez.

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