Joan Rawitser Stormont
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Joan Rawitser Stormont passed away peacefully on October 6, 2020 in her "adopted home" of Atlanta. Joan was born in 1928 in Manhattan and was raised in Scarsdale, New York, by her loving parents Rae and Herman Rawitser. She graduated from Smith College in 1949 with a degree in American Studies. While at Smith, she also studied dance and won an award in her senior year for her skills as a choreographer. After commuting between Yale and Smith in her undergraduate years, Joan married Jim Stormont in 1950 at the Brick Presbyterian Church in Manhattan's Upper East Side. While Jim finished medical school at Columbia University, Joan enjoyed her job at the CBS radio show, "This is New York".
The Stormonts raised their four children in Rochester, New York where Joan quickly became an active member of the community and participated in a wide variety of activities and organizations including the Rochester Junior League, the Third Presbyterian Church, the Country Club of Rochester, the George Eastman House, the Smith College Alumni Association, a couples book club, and her ladies dance group. Joan and Jim developed a treasured group of friends including an adventuresome bunch who canoed and camped annually across New England. When Joan and Jim moved to Atlanta in 2012 to be near family, they immersed themselves in the Park Springs Community and made many new friends. They regularly attended the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain and appreciated the support of their new church community.
As an empty nester, Joan discovered her passion for photography and after earning a degree in Photographic Arts and Sciences from the Rochester Institute of Technology, she began a long and fulfilling career later in life. She began as a portrait photographer and had two one-woman shows. The first, "Of the Artist /By the Artist", featured major artists from the Upstate New York area while her second show focused on 62 members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She also enjoyed photographing architecture, creating and producing a poster named "The Doors of Rochester". Joan and Jim loved international travel and Joan used her photographic talent to capture these adventures on camera. She enthusiastically shared her experiences by presenting a series of well-loved travelogues. Some of her favorite "Travels with Joan" productions, were China, Greece, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Indonesia, France, Italy, and The Netherlands.
Known for her dynamic, independent personality, Joan was always open to new ideas and ready for new adventures. She was the life of the party and had a natural curiosity and interest in everything and everyone. She had a competitive spirit and enthusiastically competed in golf, tennis and paddle tennis tournaments in addition to supporting all her children's athletic endeavors. Joan also loved games and was passionate about Bridge which she considered the best game of all! She loved to cook and entertain and was known for her fabulous dinner parties. Joan had a life-long interest in the arts and enjoyed playing the piano and attending the symphony and the theater.
Despite her many interests, Joan was above all devoted to her family! She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 70 years, James Stormont, MD, who passed away six months ago. Joan and Jim were devoted partners in life, and adored each other, especially in later years when Joan was the "eyes" for Jim who suffered from Macular Degeneration and Jim was the memory for Joan. Together they were a complete team and were a role model couple for all who knew them. With an open and accepting attitude, Joan was the embodiment of unconditional love for her children and grandchildren. As a mom, she planned a full life for her family including summer camps, family trips across the country, and study programs abroad. Joan and Jim valued education highly and encouraged all their children to pursue education after college, and all four children successfully earned Master's Degrees. Joan often commented that "education is something that no one can ever take away from you".
Joan is survived by her four children and their spouses: Sue & Doug Murphy, Beth & Shelby Carter, Beth & Jim Stormont, Jr., and Laura & Bob Stormont. Additionally, "Mims", as she was affectionally known, is survived by her many grandchildren: Meeghan and Rob Fortson, Deborah and Douglas Murphy, Sarah and Jack Murphy, Kim and Hermann von Bertrab, Hank Carter, Scott Carter, Sarah Stormont, Maureen and Mac Stormont, Andy Stormont as well as her four great grandchildren: Grant Fortson, Thomas Fortson, Hermann von Bertrab, and Sofia von Bertrab.
Mims will be remembered as a unique, inquisitive, dynamic and fun-loving mother and grandmother. She embraced life fully and was never bored and never boring! Her one mission in life was to make those around her happy...and she succeeded! She brought joy, laughter and love to our lives and she will be deeply missed. In memory of Joan, donations may be sent to the Eastminster Presbyterian Church of Stone Mountain, 5801 Hugh Howell Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30087.