Thursday, July 27, 2017



Joan Stachowiak was born on 27 July 1933 at her family home in Van Nuys, California to her parents Leonard Stachowiak and Lillian Braciszewski Stachowiak.  Joan attended St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Elementary School.  She then attended Van Nuys High School (where she played field hockey) and graduated from that school in January of 1951.  A few months later, while working in an office in Sherman Oaks, Joan met the local mail man, Donald Sherlock, and they started dating, with their 1st date being a trip to the movies.
Joan and Donald got married on 8 October 1951 at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Van Nuys.  They took a honeymoon to Ensenada (Baja California) and Lake Wohlford (in San Diego County).  Don’s older brother Chuck joined them on the “fishing trip” part of the honeymoon.

Within a month of being married, Don was drafted into the US Army.  He did basic training in Fort Ord and was stationed there for a year. Most of that time Joan (who was pregnant) lived in Van Nuys but did move up to Fort Ord for a month in 1952 before he was deployed to Korea.  Joan gave birth to her 1st child in August of 1952.  Donald served with the US Army as a medic in Korea for a year – Oct 1952-Oct 1953.

In the summer of 1958, being the mother of 4 children and the oldest one ready to begin 1st grade, Joan finally learned to drive a car.  She was always a hesitant driver, never driving on the freeway and avoiding left turns as much as possible (even if it required driving blocks out of her way). At the age of 50, she decided she had done enough driving and gave it up permanently.  Of course, her mother had never learned to drive!

Being the mother of 6 children kept Joan very busy during their childhoods, although she did manage to volunteer as a librarian at St. Genevieve’s Elementary School.  Joan loved the beach, playing the piano and See’s candy!

After divorcing Donald in 1975, Joan married Edward Pybas on 31 Oct 1976 in Las Vegas. Joan and Edward lived in Tujunga for many years, where for a brief period of time Joan owned a pet shop.  Joan loved pets and for years had 2 beautiful large parrots, in an addition to caring for Don’s dog Mackenzie after Don’s death.

Joan suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the past 9 years. She finally found peace on 9 May 2017 when she died in Sun Valley, California.  Her 6 children said their final goodbyes to her at a funeral Mass at the Mortuary at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills and internment at the same cemetery.

Joan was preceded in death by both of her husbands – Don and Ed – and great granddaughter Harmony.  She is survived by her brother Ralph Roberts, her 6 children (Danny, Colleen, Michael, Kathleen, Maureen and Patrick) and their spouses, 20 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and 11 nephews and nieces.

Happy 84th Birthday, Mom!  We love you and miss you!!

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