Cover photo for Joan Beddell's Obituary
1935 Joan 2022

Joan Beddell

January 19, 1935 — August 22, 2022

Joan Patricia Young Reiheld Beddell came into the world on January 19, 1935. She left us on August 22, 2022 after 87 busy, creative and challenging trips around the sun. For the past 20 years, she struggled with the long-term effects of two brain stem strokes, but she never lost her sass and her sense of humor. She was a 10 ½ year resident of The Merriman in Akron, followed by 1 ½ years at Timberland Ridge in Copley. Joan's daughters extend their deep gratitude to the staff at both facilities for the kindness and care she received. They loved her like one of their own.

Raised in Akron by her parents Nellie Mae (Mellor) and John Arthur Young, Joan was a 1952 graduate of Garfield High School. As an only child, Joan's friends were always her extended family, and she cherished each and every one throughout her life. She loved sending and receiving cards, and rarely missed a holiday or a friend's birthday.

Her marriage (1955-1971) to Richard Reiheld (1934-2013) resulted in the births of three daughters: Catherine Marjorie (b. 4/18/56, d.4/20/56), Polly Marie (b. 12/17/63) and Sophy Eleanor (b. 7/4/67). Joan is survived by Polly (John Kutuchief) and Sophy, as well as her grandchildren - Sophy's children Eleanor and William Abbott-Hall.

A lover of animals, art and music, Joan was artistic, creative, and very witty. Joan was an excellent writer and calligrapher. She adored the ornate charm of Victorian houses and rendered many beautiful drawings and notecards over the years. She collected teddy bears and believed that everyone - no matter how old - should be loved by a teddy bear! She enjoyed taking her daughters and their friends to rock concerts in the 70's and 80's. She was the cool mom!

Joan's own words, written for inclusion in a time capsule at The Merriman in May 2018, best describe how she lived her life:

"My name is Joan Beddell and I am 83 years old. I was born January 19, 1935. My life changed when I had my two daughters in the 1960's, and changed again when I had to be on my own and raise them. I realized I had the strength and abilities to make my own decisions.

I've had great lifelong friends and accomplished many things. I learned guitar, I acted in community theater, and I got my B.A. in English when I was 51 years old. I drove a school bus for 20 years, I tended bar, I worked with the elderly through SWAP and Project LEARN, I've done freelance writing for local publications, I've worked at bookstores, and even at a roller skating rink!

I always wanted to be a good role model for myself and my daughters, and I learned to take advantage of good opportunities and experiences. When I raised my daughters on my own, I stopped letting other people define me. For the first time in my life, I was ME."

Joan will be deeply missed by her family and all who knew her! Please honor her memory by donating to the American Stroke Association ( or One of a Kind Pets ( Celebrate her life by feeding the birds, watering your plants, calling your friends, and tightly hugging your loved ones. And above all else, be proudly and unapologetically YOU.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Beddell, please visit our flower store.


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