Shirley Joan Bryan

Date of Birth

October 7, 1931

Date of Death

July 7, 2010

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Shirley Joan Bryan, was born in Ohio on October 7, 1931 the sixth of eleven children of Thomas and Anna Bryan. Joan, as she was called by her family and friends, passed away at Serenity House on June 7, 2010 surrounded by family and loved ones.

She spent much of her adult life working as an escrow officer and administrative assistant in Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, and most recently at the Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara. During the 1980’s, pursuing her passion for beauty and sense of aesthetics, she opened an art gallery in the historic J.P. Andrews Building in San Luis Obispo.

Santa Barbara became her beloved home where she lived for over twenty years. Always eager to enrich her life and share with others; she became a certified massage therapist, took piano classes, and voice lessons.

She sang in the Santa Barbara Mission and San Roque Church choirs. She joined Los Parientes Early California dance group and performed for many celebrations in the Santa Barbara area along with her husband, Luis Moreno. Joan was a nature lover and Luis’ hiking partner. She had many talents in the kitchen as well; and taught her four children how to prepare beautiful, creative, and delicious meals–especially inspired by her Lebanese heritage.

She enjoyed meetings with her PEP Club–To Pray the Rosary, Eat, and Play Cards; The Crones–from Fielding Institute; and Los Descendientes, to name a few of her social groups.

She exemplified the spirit of generosity. Even though she was a woman of modest means, she contributed to many charities: Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Heifer International, Mercy Corps, and Saint Joseph’s Indian School, among others.

She was devoted to her children, grandchildren, husband, and ten siblings as well as her many nieces and nephews. She was a source of love, wisdom, friendship, good counsel and inspiration. Even in her last years of struggle with her illness, she remained full of the wit and good humor, compassion, and courage that she demonstrated throughout her life–always with her beautiful smile.

She was preceded in death by her second baby, John Bradley Richard; her parents, Thomas and Anna Bryan; her youngest sister, Barbara; and her oldest brother, Charles Joan is survived by her husband, Luis Moreno; her children; Joan Fedewa-Scicchitano of Arroyo Grande, William Richard of Dallas, Daniel Richard and his wife Kathy of Nashville, and Amy Chambers of Manhattan Beach; also Leo Fedewa who was like another son to Shirley Joan. Her grandchildren are Justin Fedewa and wife Jessica, Issac DiAnni Richard and wife Julia, Peter Fedewa and wife Claire, and Angela Antonell Fedewa and friend Zachary Frederickson both of Santa Barbara.

She is survived by siblings in order of birth: Melia Diffenbaugh of Bakersfield; Esther Ridlon of Hemet; Betty Wright of Montclair; sister, Lucille Capps and husband Bob of Santa Rosa; brother, Joseph Bryan and wife Francoise of Idaho; sister, Pepper Golesh and husband Dan of Aptos; sister, Patty Ferrand and husband Bob of Healdsburg; and sister, Judith Scarvie and husband Tom of Santa Barbara, who were privileged to spend much valuable time with Joan in recent years.

Joan’s family is grateful to her dear friend, Laurie Lemson of Ventura, whose loving concern, devotion, and experience as a nurse was a blessing. Her family also wishes to express appreciation for the care Joan received from doctors Robert Wright, M.D.; Mark Abate, M.D.; and the staff of Sansum Clinic. We also wish to thank Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care who provided comfort to Joan.

Memorial services will include a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 24th at San Roque Catholic Church, immediately followed by a celebration of Shirley Joan’s life in the church hall, 3200 Calle Cedro, Santa Barbara.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent in Shirley Joan Bryan’s name to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care, 222 Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 or Catholic Near East Welfare Association, 1011 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022-4195.


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