Born in Alameda on November 14, 1932 to the late Isamu and Dorothy Narahara, Joan passed away on March 13, 2019 at age 86.
Joan attended Porter Grammar School before being interned in Topaz, Utah, during WWII, and graduated from Alameda High School with honors. She received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology and certificates in medical technology and exfoliative cytology from UC Berkeley/UCSF, followed by two years at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore doing cancer research. Joan returned to work for Alameda County as a lab technician, cytologist and microbiologist, retiring after 40 years.
Joan was a patron of the arts, education and environment, supporting the San Francisco Symphony and Opera for over 40 years, as well as her alma mater, the National Wildlife Federation and World Wildlife Fund. Her love of travel took her all around the United States, most of Europe, the Middle East, South America, Japan, Australia and China.
She was active with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), was a former president of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Alameda, and served on the Alameda City Council Planning Board for two terms as president and Vice President.
She is best remembered by her nieces and nephews for her cultured pursuits, intellect and love of books, especially science fiction and children’s literature.
She is survived by her siblings: Edwin (May) Narahara, Carol Kono, and Ken (Chikako) Narahara; nephews, nieces and other family members: Kirk, (Erin) & Caitlyn Kono; Randall (Julie), Lauren, & Kyle Kono; Cindy & Sean Cornelius; Lance Kono; Sheryl (Narahara) John Hathaway, Andrew, & Kaile; Neal Narahara; Margarethe (Narahara) & Jan Biermeyer; Kristopher Narahara.
Family and friends are invited to attend the memorial service in honor of Joan on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Buddhist Temple of Alameda, 2325 Pacific Ave., Alameda.