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Joan D. Bean


Mrs. Joan D. Bean, 94 of Fernandina Beach, FL passed away on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at Baptist Medical Center-Nassau.

Every true story has a beginning and end, so this is an absolutely true story.

Mrs. Bean�s story starts March 25, 1926 as Joan was born and raised in Bowling Green, KY by Joe and Annie Dienes. She was the only child of parents who worked for a railroad shipping service, her father as an agent and her mother as a cashier. She attended Catholic schools through eighth grade. She started dancing at age 4.

She and husband-to-be Red Bean met in college. He grew up with one brother in the mountains of Kentucky. A World War II survivor of the Normandy invasion with a purple heart to his credit, he had returned to finish his studies under the GI Bill and a football scholarship.

Mrs. Bean arrived in Fernandina in 1950 when her husband, Lewis �Red� Bean, accepted a teaching position at the local high school. Both were graduates of Western Kentucky State College with degrees in education. He specialized in industrial arts, and she taught physical education. They arrived with three babies in diapers, an 18-month-old daughter and 4-month-old twin boys. The family rented a vacation cottage on the beach that had no hot water for $50 a month. They had no phone and no car. Humble as it was, the new lifestyle felt exotic because the ocean and Florida were new experiences. Her ninth and last child was born when she was in her 40s. The family was now complete with two daughters and seven sons.

Throughout the years of raising a family, Bean continued to offer dance instruction out of her home to generations of the community�s youth. It was not until her husband retired from teaching that she got her own studio. One of Red Bean�s first retirement projects was to build it on a vacant lot on North Third Street. The school still operates in the same building at the same location today. Thus, she officially became a business owner at the age of 60. It was then that Ms. Bean joined the Chamber of Commerce and was introduced to community activism. Joan

Mrs. Bean�s husband �Red� died when he was age 64, before the two of them got to fulfill their retirement plans together. Her second marriage was to Wayne Gilbert, whom she met at a high school reunion back in Kentucky. In their short three-year marriage, they traveled to Portugal, Italy, and Greece and made the rounds of U.S. national parks.

As for widowhood, Joan acknowledged it changes life in major ways. �Nothing is spontaneous anymore,� she said. �You have to make plans to do things � Life can be fun, but you have to get off your ass. Nothing is going to happen unless you make it happen.� �Water aerobics has been my fountain of youth,� she declared. Joan remained active in St. Michael Catholic Church�s Guild and the Amelia Island Museum of History. She participated in weekly trivia matches with friends. While younger instructors teach at the studio these days, Ms. Bean would occasionally put on her ballet slippers to review dance positions with 5-year-olds.

Though she had a sharp recollection of her family history and was passionate about preserving what makes Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island special to residents and tourists alike, Joan Bean lived in the here and now. Perhaps that is the ultimate secret to staying young at heart. Not surprising, is her advice to the upcoming generation: �This is your world. Take an interest in what�s going on around you.�

Ms. Bean leaves behind is survived by Diane Patchen her husband Don, Mark and wife Sherry, Mason and wife Marilyn, Drue Ashwell and husband Steve, Gary and wife Sally, David and wife Karen, Steve and wife Kay, Warren and wife Lucretia and Aaron and wife Abby. Joan had a total of 9 children, 16 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

Due to the COVID19 virus graveside funeral services were held for her immediate family where she was laid to rest beside her husband at Bosque Bello Cemetery. Her family is planning to celebrate and remember her life with the community at St. Michael�s Catholic Church in the future.


To the Bean Family: So sorry for your loss. Joan was such a wonderful person giving so much to others. She will be missed.

MARY NUTTALL April 23, 2020
I am only one of so many people who are deeply saddened by the loss of Joan Bean. She was a petite, talented, and loving giant of a person who will be missed by this community. She brought smiles to all who encountered her especially me. What a wonderful lady! May she rest in peace.

JOHN CASCONE April 23, 2020
My condolences to the whole Bean family. Her passing is a loss to all of us in Nassau County. She has been a stalwart for the quality of life in our community and was not tightlipped with her opinions when something was going against her grain. It is sad that she has left us in this time when her life can not be honored as it should.

CHRIS BRYAN April 23, 2020
How do you say goodbye to such a wonderful lady! She was an important part of our community and special to all of us. Thank you Mrs. Bean for all you have done for so many and for the love you gave to all of us. Prayers for the Bean family. Love to all of you.

ANITA SMART April 23, 2020
So sad to see Ms. Joan has passed. I found her to be an amazing lady. My condolences to the family.

CAROL LAVIN April 23, 2020
My condolences to the Bean family. She was an icon.

DEL CONNER April 23, 2020
My condolences to the Bean Family. Ms. Joan was one of a kind and will be dearly missed by many. She lived a life of respect, energy, and purpose. Certainly A Life Well Lived.

Heartfelt condolences to the family. She was a wonderful lady and though it has been many years since I danced in her studio, she left me with a lot of good times and good memories. I know she will be missed by all.

My condolences to the Bean family. Now one of you has to step up and be the out spoken person your Mom was. I remember what a good man Red Bean was as well.

JERRY & GAIL GREESON April 23, 2020
What a special neighbor, friend, Mrs Bean was to our family. She leaves a wonderful legacy for us in all of her children & grandchildren. We have such fond memories of Our children playing together, dancing together & swinging in the side yard tree. We will truly miss her sweet smile in the neighborhood. Prayers for the family in the miss special time. We love you. Jerry &Gail Greeson

�Behind every dancer who believes in themselves, is a teacher who believed in them first.� ~Anonymous
Thank you Miss Bean for all you have given to generations of young people. You will be missed, but never forgotten. Our prayers and deepest sympathy for the Bean family and the Bean School family

JANE HANDSCOMB April 23, 2020
So sorry to hear this news, deepest sympathy to the whole family.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Bean family! What a remarkable, kind, smart, funny and inspirational women! How she remembered so many details of when she taught me almost 40 years ago was truly a blessing! She knew how to �live her best life� long before social media and Gen Z made the phrase so popular! Joan Bean was one of a kind! We will miss her and our lives have been touched by her generosity forever! Sending all our love, Peggy and Brantley Brown

My thoughts and prayers are with the Bean family! What a remarkable, kind, smart, funny and inspirational women! How she remembered so many details of when she taught me almost 40 years ago was truly a blessing! She knew how to �live her best life� long before social media and Gen Z made the phrase so popular! Joan Bean was one of a kind! We will miss her and our lives have been touched by her generosity forever! Sending all our love!!

CHRIS STEWART April 23, 2020
So sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful person.

What a great lady. Mrs.Bean�s contributions to our community help shape who we are today. Our hearts and prayers are with the Bean family.

Mrs Bean was a very special friend and neighbor for over twenty five years .before we moved. When we moved back she still remembered us. She was indeed a very special lady. We will miss seeing her and that smiling face.

JUDI & JOHN RACZYNSKI April 24, 2020
We loved Joan and her spirit. Condolences to her lovely family. She was a Fernandina Beach treasure, the likes that we will never see again,

CARL & BARBARA April 24, 2020
My condolences to the entire Bean family and friends. A great friend and will always be in our hearts.

Mrs. Bean was a cornerstone in my life and helped me become who I am today. She had a huge heart and a great smile. She is definitely a Fernandina Legend. She will be missed so much. My love and prayers for the family.

Mrs. Bean was a one in a million who cared deeply about her family and her community. Smart, generous, kind and not afraid to speak her mind � a true asset to our island and to our history. We will miss seeing her at the Museum. Sending our condolences and respect to the entire Bean family.

CANDECE AND JIM April 24, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the Bean family. Mrs. Bean was a bright spirit in this community. She will be missed.

JONI AND RICK April 24, 2020
Our hearts break for you we were so honored to know your mom i

BOBBI AND LOREN LUM April 24, 2020
We send our condolences to the Bean Family. Ms. Bean was truly a great lady, admired by one and all. Her passing leaves a big hole in this community�s heart.

There will never be another Joan Bean. A force-to-be-reckoned with, and also full of grace and goodness. My love to all the family. You are in my prayers.

So sorry to learn of Mrs. Bean�s passing. She has been a wonderful neighbor for our family over the last 35 years or so since we moved into her N. 15th/Highland Street neighborhood. I have had the honor of being called to give her a hand many times with chores ranging from moving things, resetting breakers, running bothersome peddlers away or just providing a ride to the dentist. Mrs. Bean always greeted me with her warm smile and kind words any time we met, including the last time less than a week ago. Our family loved her and will surely miss the Queen of our neighborhood.

TOM April 24, 2020
Barbara, you were Joan�s loyal and compassionate support. God love you both.

PEGGY DENNARD April 24, 2020
I can�t imagine Fernandina Beach without Joan Bean. she is one of those people who made this community so special.

My condolences to the Bean family, she will be greatly missed.

THE AVILA FAMILY April 24, 2020
Words cannot do justice to the memory of Mrs. bean. We had the pleasure of living around the corner from her the last 5 years or so and it did our hearts good to see the entire Bean family gathering at her home regularly. We will miss seeing her watering her plants and taking her walks.
She will forever be an icon in our community and an example of what it means to love where you live and live where you love.
Our hearts go out to the entire Bean family.

TALBERT FAMILY April 25, 2020
Condolences to the entire Bean Family and community for her loss. May her spirit continue to Inspire the lives of so many as she dances with the angels . Phil 4:7;And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus

JACK CAMPBELL April 25, 2020
Mrs. Bean, was an amazing lady. My Christian sympathies, go out to the entire Bean family. My hometown, will never be the same without her.

Mrs. Bean has been a pillar of our community and an inspiration to all of us. She reminded us to focus on what is important, have integrity, get the job done, take care of each other and take care of our environment on this special island. She will be remembered and celebrated for many years, but we will miss her greatly. Our condolences to all of her family.

ANTHONY HAMMOND April 25, 2020
So sorry to hear this great lady has passed! My memories of Mr. & Mrs. Bean go back to my childhood when Mark, Mason Snd I use to play together! My prayers go out to the family!

Mrs. Bean was a icon in our community �.She will be truly missed by all of Fernandina. Condolences to all of her family.

CLARE VAN ETTA April 26, 2020
Thinking of you all at this time. Mrs. Bean sure was a happy, loving, and full of spirit lady. I always enjoyed being around her! I know she will be greatly missed. Many thoughts and prayers for you!

CARMEN COURSON April 26, 2020
I�m so very sorry for your loss. I took lessons from her as a young child and again as an adult. She was so very, very nice. Again, please know she may be gone but definitely isn�t forgotten.

DEBORAH KESSLER April 26, 2020
Our entire community will miss her spirit and sense of humor. What a bright spot.

My sincere and deepest condolences go out to the Bean Family. Mrs. Bean was a hero to me starting from my first classes with her around 1978 at her home to my last classes with her in 1985 at the Rec Center. I will miss her hugs and her encouragement, her contagious smile and laughter. While she taught generations of children she was able to raise amazing children of her own whom I know she was so proud of.. we will all miss her dearly..

MARCY AND BILL MOCK April 27, 2020
What a beautiful legacy Joan leaves her family and our community. Such a special gift to our children.
Never forgotten. Always in our hearts.

MJ VEREEN April 28, 2020
So very sorry for your loss�she certainly was a wonderful Lady. Reading about her was inspirational ?

Our sincere sympathy to all the Bean family at the loss of your loved one. Mrs. Bean was known to us in the 70�s as our daughter�s dance teacher, and through Aaron, Tobin�s school chum. The boys had many adventures at our house and at the Beans, and all over Amelia Island. I was always amazed at Mrs. Bean�s ability to happily and gracefully manage her large family.and business simultaneously. She is a roll model we can strive to emulate and treasure. She was a valuable citizen to Fernandina, and will be missed.

PAM BOYER April 28, 2020
My condolences to the family. Joan was a true inspiration�full of grace, energy, wit and spunk. I can imagine that every day was an adventure for her�may we all continue to learn from her, even now.

LARRY SYLVESTER April 30, 2020
I was truly saddened to hear of the passing of Mrs. Bean, an extraordinarily vibrant and gracious lady who touched my life in a very special way. I feel especially blessed to have shared so many Sunday mornings with her in the loft of the old St. Michael�s Church providing the liturgical music for the services. She always made me smile then and every time that I chanced to meet her in the years thereafter, and that smile on her loving face remains indelible in my heart and memory. My deepest condolences go out to the entire Bean family, her countless friends, and the entire community that will forever feel her loss. May she rest in peace in the loving arms of her Lord.

We both have very fond memories of Joan � I was raised in St. Michael�s with all the Beans and the Pooles. Joan taught me to dance and Bob remembers many golf rounds with Red and Harry. Our sincere sympathy goes out to all of her special family.

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