Joan E. LaBar

DRESDEN - Joan Etta (McEathron) LaBar, 74, of Dresden, ME, passed away on September 29, 2016  from complications of  pneumonia. She was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, the minutes-older sibling of her twin brother, Gene.  

Her first 18 years were spent on her folks’ farm in northern Wisconsin. As a senior in high school, she met her future husband, George LaBar, at a 4-H Junior Leaders meeting. They fell in love immediately, and were married a year later while she was in nursing school and her husband was in college. While completing her LPN training, she gave birth to their first child, Laureen.  Joan and George then began a more than 50-year odyssey, living in Idaho, Montana, California, Yellowstone Park, Mexico, Venezuela, Maine, Vermont, and again in Idaho and Montana. In 2015 they returned to Maine to be near their oldest daughter. Their second and third children, George, Jr. of Fairbanks, AK and Pauline, from Albuquerque, NM, were born in 1963 and 1966, respectively.

Joan was an excellent quilter, finishing more than 30 quilts and making scores of quilts for soldiers and children in need. She worked as a high-school librarian in Vermont for 17 years, and was a partner in a craft shop in Idaho. She and George loved Yellowstone Park and visited it often after she and George retired  to Dillon, Montana. She loved to travel; they lived in Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, and Costa Rica while George was working there. One of the highlights of her life was traveling all over the United States in 2005-06 with George in their 5th-wheel camper, while George was working on a book about the National Wildlife Refuges. During that excursion they traveled 80,000 miles in 49 states and visited 311 refuges.

Joan and George were married 55 years. Joan is survived by her daughter Laureen (Scott Murray), son George, Jr. (Leslie), and daughter Pauline (Kiff) LaBar-Shelton, and by her brothers Richard and Gene. She also leaves their Brittany spaniels, Rascal and Rosie. 

A memorial service will be held Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 at 3p.m. at the Wiscasset Congregational Church in Wiscasset, Maine.

For those who wish, contributions in her name can be made to Doctors Without Borders USA
P.O. Box 5030 Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030, or to the Quilt Project at the Maine State Museum.