Mom was with us over Christmas. She had a great Christmas, helping make cookies, eating penuche fudge, seeing her grandchildren. We had no idea that this was what the new year would bring.
Here is what I wrote for the paper:
Joan Dougherty Tabor loved to read, and she loved to find the book that would unlock the world of reading for students. In her years as the librarian at Brookings High School, she lured countless students into the world of reading with high interest books and a willingness to talk about every subject.
Joan Tabor, 81, of Brookings, died January 4, at Brookings Hospital of congestive heart failure.
Born May 18, 1929 in Huron, SD to Ella Gartland and E. B. Dougherty, Joan spent her early years in Omaha, NE and grew up in the many small towns of South Dakota along the Chicago & Northwestern railroad line where her father worked. They lived in Houghton and Iroquois, finally settling in Gettysburg where she graduated from high school. She attended South Dakota State University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in Journalism and began her career as an English teacher in the Watertown public schools. She married Theodore Lee Tabor in the summer of 1952. Her career as a teacher continued in Sturgis, SD, Belfry, MT and Hoven, SD, though she spent most of her teaching years as the Brookings High School librarian, from 1964 until she retired. She received her Masters in Journalism from SDSU, and had recently begun writing a series of short memoir pieces about her years in South Dakota.
Music was as much a part of her life as the written word. Joan was an accomplished musician. She won awards for the piano and her singing in high school. In the Iroquois School band, she played trombone, saxophone, and trumpet – whatever instrument the band needed. At SDSU she was part of a vocal trio that performed in Rabbit Rarities and other college reviews, as well as on WCCO radio. Joan was an avid dancer, learning to dance from her father to the big bands of the 30s and 40s. In later life she learned the string bass and played for years in the SDSU-Civic Symphony. She served for years on the board of the Brookings Chamber Music Society, bringing a broad range of artists from around the world to perform at SDSU.
After her retirement from BHS, Mrs. Tabor continued to keep libraries a focus, becoming a member of the board of the Friends of the Brookings Public Library, and she maintained her membership in the South Dakota Library Association. Involved in many organizations and clubs, she was active in three bridge clubs, Queen Bee of a Red Hat chapter, a volunteer at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and PEO.
She is survived by her brother, Charles (Diana) Dougherty (PA); her three children, Liz Robinson (John) of Oak Park, IL, Kate Tabor (Sam Fishkin) of Evanston, IL and Matt (Mary) Tabor of Racine, WI; her eight grandchildren Mamie (Neil) Simpson, Abigail, Nicholas, Margaret, Madelyn, Emily, Sophia and Hannah; her two great-grandchildren Jonathan and Jennifer; and many nieces, nephews and their families.
More at some other time.