The LSS Foundation recently received a generous planned gift from the estate of Joan A. Paulson, a lifelong resident of Wisconsin.
In presenting the gift on Joan’s behalf, her cousin Pat Klug said, “Joan lived a complete life full of joy, adventure and accomplishment. Despite being born without a left hand, she easily extended her right to bring wisdom, compassion and inspiration to those she touched.”
Joan was born in 1927, the longawaited and only child of Gracia and Clarence Paulson. As a child, she lived on a farm near Iola, attended a one-room school and picked beans and potatoes to earn money for a bicycle. In high school, she played the piano and coronet. She earned two degrees and taught high school English in Tigerton, Green Bay and Clintonville. She spent time with her extended family and provided support and encouragement to people who touched her life. She also researched, wrote and traveled widely, becoming a published author.
Clearly, Joan lived her life well. What made it even more remarkable is that she did it all without a left hand or forearm, and did not use a prosthesis. Now, as during her life, the people who knew her don’t think of Joan as a woman with one arm. They think of her as an exceptionally wise, thoughtful and kind person.
Joan taught a lot of young people to love literature and reading. One of them was Dick Bennett, who went on to be an award-winning basketball coach at UW-Green Bay and UW-Madison. When he accepted the Clintonville School District’s Alumnus Honoris Award some years ago, Bennett said Joan was one of the people who had influenced him most. He credited her with inspiring his own decision to become an English teacher (in the days before he was a full-time coach).
Joan passed away in September 2015. Now, her humble generosity and gift for helping and supporting others – never hindered by her own disability – will live on through her gift to the LSS Foundation.