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Joan Elise Rechtin Lincoln

April 1, 2016

The Lincoln Institute honors the memory of Joan Elise Rechtin Lincoln, a renowned civic leader and ceramicist whose commitment to the arts and education remain an inspiration to all who knew her. Joan passed away at the age of 88 on March 7, 2016, at her home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. She is survived by her husband, David C. Lincoln, son of the Lincoln Institute’s founder, John C. Lincoln; her children, Virginia Louise, Kathryn Jo, Carl Richard, and James Robert; and six grandchildren.

A longtime local leader, Joan was the mayor of Paradise Valley from 1984 to 1986 and served on the town council for 10 years. She also championed the arts, as an officer of the National Society of Arts and Letters, a member of the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts, and a member of the board of the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

An accomplished artist herself, Joan developed her lifelong passion for ceramics at Scripps College in Claremont, California. She earned a B.A. in art history there and later honed her talents with an M.F.A. in ceramics from Arizona State University. Joan spent many summers participating in the ceramics program at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, where she was highly regarded as a teacher and mentor. “Much of Joan’s activity involved ceramics, which she did well and was involved in from early childhood,” recalls David Lincoln. “My wife was a people person, always striving to do the right thing in the right way, which served her well throughout life. She was a role model for all of us.”

Joan and David shared a vision that ethical behavior and interfaith cooperation would solve many of the world’s greatest dilemmas. With others, they helped to establish Claremont Lincoln University, known for an innovative graduate training that brings leaders and learners together to gain fresh perspective and develop the skills required to inspire meaningful and positive social change.

“My mother had a keen intellect and would always challenge us to ask the right question and do the right thing,” says Kathryn Jo Lincoln, chair of the board and CIO of the Lincoln Institute. “She was also very kind, and somehow, with my father, managed to raise four incredibly different children who each reflect her in our own way. We will sorely miss her.”

Photograph: Rhona Kasen