Cover photo for Joan C Tribolet's Obituary
1938 Joan 2020

Joan C Tribolet

March 26, 1938 — December 27, 2020

Joan Tribolet (nee Harmer) of Roslyn PA passed away on December 27, 2020 after a brief battle with the coronavirus.

Joan was born in Philadelphia to Mildred and Wesley Kenneth Harmer. Her early years were defined by her father’s struggle with Type 1 Diabetes to which he succumbed when she was a young teenager. Thus, began her path to a career in nursing. An excellent student, she graduated from Frankford High School at the age of 16. In January of 1955, she won the City of Philadelphia Schools Nursing Scholarship. She had to convince an admissions counselor at Thomas Jefferson School of Nursing to allow her to join the class of 1958. She was the youngest student ever admitted to their program. Her career in nursing spanned five decades in which she worked in hospital nursing, as a nurse educator and ultimately finishing her career as the Director of Nursing at Roslyn Nursing Home.

In October of 1959, she agreed to a blind date with a recent Drexel graduate and newly minted 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Bob showed up on her doorstep on Halloween night along with the trick-or-treaters and thus began a loving relationship and marriage that lasted 60+ years. Together they shared their love of dogs, particularly German Shepherds, and their love of travel. They vacationed in groups large and small, with family and extended family. Their love of cruises was well known, and they racked up an impressive list of voyages – 57 in all.

Joan was the mother of Lisa (Brian Chatburn) and Laura (Michael Giuliani). She always said she loved her son-in-law’s as if they were her own. Which is really hard for many to believe, based on the antics and shenanigans that both of them put her through.

In 1990, she became a grandmother for the first time. Before she knew it there were 6 grandchildren and they were her treasures. She affectionately became known as Gum. Also, Gummie, Gummy, Gumster, Gummer, Forrest Gum, etc. She lovingly gave her time and Tic Tacs to Liz, Christina, Kasey, Mikaela, David and Anthony.

She’ll be remembered as a grandmother who rocked a coconut bra and grass skirt surrounded by four giggling girls. She told the story of “The Boy who Cried Wolf” a million times. She’d happily motorboat a baby in a pool floatie or sing A Bushel and a Peck to exhaustion.  She was a fixture in a beach chair working on her tan but always available to be the wave jumping hand holder.  Always present on countless lacrosse, baseball, field hockey sidelines, she sat cheering courtside for high school and college basketball games. She was the smiling centerpiece of the annual Thanksgiving Day photo. Glass of wine raised high as the chaos in the room ensued.

But her death can’t silence her voice because the stories will live on.  “Sir, sir what are you doing in that water tank?---the backstroke,” “Hand puta in mom,” “Gum, why does that giraffe have a chicken in its butt?” and the enduring “Gum, you got peanuts?”

“In life, we loved you dearly, in death we love you still. In our hearts you hold a place, no one else will ever fill.”

Joan is survived by her husband Frederick (Bob), daughters Lisa (Brian) and Laura (Michael), grandchildren Elizabeth, Christina, Katherine, Mikaela, David and Anthony. A brother John of Florida and nieces and a nephew that she loved.

A private memorial service is being planned.

The family asks that any memorial gifts be given to the Montgomery County S.P.C.A.

Arrangements by Shaeff-Myers Funeral Home.

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