Obituary of Joan H. Damon
Joan Hamilton Damon passed away peacefully on August 4, 2018, just 10 days short of her 95th birthday. A former resident of Rye, NY, Duxbury, MA, and Newport, RI, her final years were spent in the loving care of the staff of Andrus-on-Hudson (Hastings, NY).
Joan was born at NY Presbyterian Hospital and grew up in White Plains, NY, attending White Plains High School, The Knox School, and Skidmore College. As a graduate of the Westchester Conservatory of Music, she was a trained classical pianist and vocal student who was blessed with perfect pitch. It was the beginning of a long musical career that brought great joy to her and so many others. She was known to play any song in any key and accompanied Rye High School and numerous local community shows. When Joan moved to Newport, Rhode Island, she took on the challenge of learning the pipe organ and often played for services around Newport.
Among her many vocations and passions, she was a piano teacher ,a kindergarten teacher at Rye Country Day School, an active member and President of the Women’s Club of Rye, a volunteer at United Hospital (Port Chester, NY), and later a step-on tour guide for Viking Tours (Newport, RI). During her years in Rye she was a member of the American Yacht Club and later The Apawamis Club.
Early in her adult life she starred in a number of musicals in Rye, NY, including the lead role in No No Nanette. She began a junior choir at the Rye Presbyterian Church and then became the Director of the Junior and Westminster Choirs. She had a profound effect on many young lives, witnessed by the fact that so many of her “choir girls” kept in touch for many years.
One of her most creative musical accomplishments was in the late 1960s when she founded the Shoreline Chapter of Sweet Adelines, Inc, an international women’s barbershop group. She was their first director and was joined by her sister and later by her daughter. Performing in regional competitions gave women years of pleasure. Joan was also the lead in the barbershop quartet, “The Alley Cats.”
Predeceased by her husband Capt. Arthur H. Damon, Jr (USN Ret), her parents Sidney J. and Jean T. Hamilton, and her sister Nancy H.Brown, she is survived by the family she adored—her son William Sandberg (Betsy); daughter Chrissy Connor (Bob); grandson Scott Connor (Cortney); granddaughter Katy Ridley (John); grandsons Tyler (Kelsie) and Griffin, and three great grandchildren (Mac, Elle, Emma), as well as her beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of her life is being planned for September 29th, 11 am, at the Rye Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Rye Presbyterian Church Music Fund, 882 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580.
Never forget--“Who’s like us? Naebody.”
We are dedicated to serving you and your family for all of your funeral needs. Our staff strives to gently guide you through the decisions necessary for making your loved one’s funeral a personal tribute.
1036 Boston Post Rd.
Rye, New York
Phone: (914) 967-0129
Fax: (914) 967-7202