Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 16, 2014

Joan Louise Laird

TRAVERSE CITY — Joan Louise Laird, of Traverse City, passed away after a brief illness on Friday, March 14, 2014. Joan was born on May 7, 1929, in Marshalltown, Iowa, to the late Fred and Rose (Wenger) Beeks.

She attended Iowa State Teachers College, where she graduated with a degree in physical education.

On June 21, 1952, she married Ralph F. Laird in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Joan lived and taught in both Detroit and Marquette before moving with her family to Traverse City in 1967. Joan taught classes at Northwestern Michigan College before her retirement in 1985.

She was one of the first yoga teachers in Traverse City, led senior fitness classes at the Traverse City Senior Center and was a volunteer for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Joan is survived by her children, Ben and Lorraine Laird, of Traverse City, Gloria Gail Laird and Jeff Idema, of San Francisco, and Rhonda Laird, of Nashville, Tenn.; grandchildren, David and Allison Laird, of Nashville, Tenn., Emma and Marie Laird, of Traverse City; and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Ralph Laird; her son, James Joseph Laird; and her brother, Jim Beeks.

Joan’s family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Orchard Creek Assisted Living, the place that she called home for the last six years.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Michigan.

Please visit to share your memories of Joan.

The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.

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