Joan Alford, 85, formerly of 9300 Swinburne Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, passed away under hospice care by her directive on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 2008 hours (8:08 PM) in her home, 1560 Valley Forge Drive, Melbourne, FL 32940-6740. Joan’s first son Evan Alford was with her in her final 12 days. She had suffered an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke on April 14, 2018 which did extreme damage to her basil ganglia. Flown to Orlando by helicopter, further diagnosis including CAT and CRT confirmed Joan’s fate as unable to walk, limited movement of arms and hands, and unable to receive food or water, including by tube to stomach. Joan did briefly regain consciousness in Orlando, understood her situation as an RN would, and confirmed agreement with the DNR and hospice plan. Joan was visited by her grandchildren Caroline Alford and Adam Alford before she became comatose.
Joan was born on November 7, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri to Albert Irl (AI) Hiesrodt and Josephine Haller, and given the name Earline Joan Hiesrodt. Josephine met AI in St. Louis where she owned a general store, and he was a patrolman. She preferred to be called Joan, and went by Joan Earline Hiesrodt. Joan completed grade school at Lee School in Columbia, Missouri, and High School at the Trinity Lutheran School in Davenport, Iowa where AI was employed as a fire brick repairman at the Bettendorf Steel Mill. Joan was an excellent student, except for penmanship, a weakness inherited by her son Evan. Joan was Vice President of her class at Trinity, and played clarinet in the marching band. Joan attended the University of Missouri where she received her Bachelor’s degree in nursing, and became a Registered Nurse. Joan met her loyal and loving husband of 60 years, Donald Ray Alford, at the University of Missouri while he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Math Education. Don then went off to sea for a short stint with the US Navy. While in the Navy, he corresponded regularly with Joan leaving a collection of heart felt love letters, and sent her a beautiful set of china from Japan. Don (he also went by DR) was disabled and retired with an Honorable Discharge with full benefits, and returned to the University of Missouri to earn his BS Civil Engineering, marry Joan, and see the birth of Evan.
Joan and Don provided a perfect family life for their children, Evan, Brian Neal Alford, and Kara Sue Alford. Don’s career with ATT took the family to St. Louis, MO, KC MO, Summit, NJ (employed at ATT headquarters Manhattan), Richmond, VA, and Fairfax, VA (employed by ATT at Drainsville, VA and Washington, DC). After retirement, Don and Joan moved to Dardanelle, AR to be closer to relatives, and after they passed, moved to Melbourne, FL.
Joan’s career in nursing included work at Butler Manufacturing, and 20 years as a Public Health Nurse with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Joan was a true saint, a selfless and loving mother, including dealing with her unruly sons. Joan suffered much grief in her life, including the passing of daughter Kara at the young age of 44 from alcoholism, the estrangement of her son Brian, and the death of her husband Don. Before the stroke, Joan was suffering from arthritis, a heart condition, and irreparable damage to her knees. In addition to grandchildren Caroline and Adam, Joan is survived by grandson Isaac Feldman. May her spirit dwell in eternal peace with God