Joan Margaret Buchman Watson, 85, of Tecumseh, Kan., died on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, at home. She was born June 30, 1931, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Reasoner) Buchman.
Joan received her undergraduate degree from Creighton University, Omaha, Neb., and received a master’s degree in social work from St. Louis University. While working and raising a family she attended evening classes offered through Kansas University, receiving a second master’s degree in public administration.
Her career involved working at the Lake Mary Center, in Paola, Kan., and the state of Kansas crippled children’s program. She was the director of vocational rehabilitation services for the state of Kansas and the state of Wyoming, and retired as the director of community support services for Northeast Kansas Mental Health Center. Joan was the first female member to serve on the USD 368 school board and as a member of the Kansas State Board of Education, where she became the first female to hold the position as president.
While living in Paola, she was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, where she served as director of the youth choir. She was a member of St. Matthew Catholic Church, Topeka, Kan., where she was a member of the women’s organization. She volunteered at hospice and Catholic Charities.
Joan enjoyed family, fishing, flying, music, and KU football and basketball.
She married Donald Watson on May 4, 1957, at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Paola. He preceded her in death on Sept. 28, 2015.
Survivors include her children, Paul Watson and his wife, Molly, of Goddard, Kan., Donna LaRoux and her husband, Greg, Kouts, Ind., Margaret King and her husband, Ric, Cheyenne, Wyo., David Watson and his wife, Shelly, Hinsdale, Ill., Jeff Watson and his wife, Pam, Topeka, Jim Watson, Scranton, Kan., and Matthew Watson, Ft. Worth, Texas; two brothers, Dr. Robert Buchman, Lincoln, Neb., and Carl Buchman, Paola; a sister, Marie Cook, Portland, Ore.; and 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Joan was cremated, and a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, at St. Matthew Catholic Church. Joan’s family will greet friends from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. A Parish Rosary will be prayed at 9 a.m. Graveside service will follow at 3:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery, Paola.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to St. Matthew Catholic Church, Catholic Relief Services or Children’s Cancer in care of American Cancer Society sent to Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW Sixth Ave., Topeka, KS 66603. Condolences can be made at www.brennanmathenafh.com.