W. Joan Bartlett, age 80, died on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at MaineGeneral Medical Center. Joan was born in Elkins, WV on December 6, 1940, a daughter of the late George and JoAnn (Beal) Rankin.
As a child, she lived in West Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Maine and other parts of the country as her step-father travelled for the Mobil Oil Corporation. She had been a Maine resident since the late forties.
Joan graduated from Cony High School in 1958, attended Gates Business College, Thomas College and the University of Maine at Augusta. She was a 1980 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Executive Development. In further pursuit of her career field in banking and finance, she attended and completed many diverse courses at the Institute of Financial Education in Chicago. Throughout her career, she continued to participate in a continuum of learning and updating knowledge and disciplines to improve her skills and to assist her clients. After retiring, Joan continued her studies at the Maine College of Art and UMA Senior College.
Joan began her banking career at First National Granite Bank in Augusta, which later became the former Bank of Maine, n.a. In May of 1964, she joined the Savings and Loan Association of Augusta, later known as Augusta Federal Savings Bank. She rose to become Vice-president of Savings Administration. She retired in May of 2001 from Gardiner Savings Institution which had taken over the leadership of Augusta Federal. She always noted that she was very pleased with her experience in banking and the wonderful customers that she served, often times at home when clients were homebound or ill. Joan had many friends in co-workers that she had the pleasure of working with. She always tried to encourage the careers of other employees as well.
In May of 1990, Joan married Clyde F. Le Clair, formerly of Eastern Maine and Falmouth, ME, who had retired from law enforcement in 1984 as a Chief of Police. Clyde pre-deceased her on January 16, 2015. Joan’s husband always referred to her as the “Energizer Bunny”, and close friends said that she put a “bow on life” in that she held so many interests and served them all with class and success.
Her interests included art in many forms - gardening, fashion, landscape design, interior design and color coordination and helping many in state and out of state with room design. She also did the interior decorating for the Main Office of Augusta Federal Savings in the 1990’s. She took flight in a hot air balloon and even took flying lessons. She also enjoyed designing and making wreaths for many friends. And the Christmas holidays were a joyous time for her. Joan had travelled to many parts of the U.S. and travelled extensively outside of the United States.
Her love of nature was well known and the caring and knowledge of trees and shrubs and flowers in general. This was reflected in her care of the various colorful growth and specimens planted in the property of her condo building.
Joan was extremely generous to anyone in need and donated her time and resources to many worthy causes. She also loved her three cats: starting with Sydney, then Bailey and finally with Tonka.
She was past President of the Augusta Business and Professional Woman’s Club; and a member since 1975. She served on the State Scholarship Committee of the Maine State Federation of BPW for many years; and was Past Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Old Fort Western Museum; served as a member of the Board of Directors Endowment Fund, Old Fort Western Museum; was the 1991 recipient of the Frederick L. Savage Award by the Board of Trustees of the Old Fort Western Museum for outstanding leadership and service; and in 1995, Joan was appointed to serve as a member of the Augusta Tree Board, City of Augusta until 2001. Joan became a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Maine Senior College for many years and served on numerous committees for Senior College. She also assisted with two of her husband’s political campaigns.
She is pre-deceased by her husband, Clyde Le Clair; her mother, JoAnn B. Howland; her biological father, George Rankin; her step-father, J. Russell Howland; her aunt, Isabelle Elmore and cousin, Michael Collett.
She is survived by three sisters: Barbara Nix and Patti Roberts of Florida and Susan Patterson of New Jersey; a cousin, Gary Beal of West Virginia; a special aunt, Lil Crawford of West Virginia and many very close friends.
At her request, there will be no public visiting hours. A graveside service will be held on Monday, July 12th at 11 AM at Pine Grove Cemetery, 9 Waites Landing Road, Falmouth.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joan’s memory to: Kennebec Valley Humane Society, 10 Pet Haven Lane, Augusta, ME, 04330.
Friends, remember Joan with smiles and laughter.