Joan Louise Evans, 80, of Orlando passed away peacefully on October 5, 2018. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 7, 1938, she moved to Florida in the mid-1970s to be closer to her family and had made Orlando her home for the past 40 years. Joan’s life was loving, giving, and full of laughter, and her career reflected her broad range of interests and expertise. She was a crackerjack legal secretary, executive assistant, publicist, event planner, and in retirement, a performing clown. Highlights of her career included serving as a legal secretary in prominent law firms in Cincinnati and Orlando; as an executive secretary at the Pepsi Cola Company and as a publicist and executive assistant to the president for the Delta Queen Riverboat Company, both in Cincinnati; and as an event planner specializing in high school reunions for two decades for schools in Orlando and throughout Central Florida. As a seasoned reunion planner, Joan was quoted in a June 1999 Orlando Sentinel article, “High Anxiety: Ack! It must be a Reunion”: “Twenty-fives are such poorly attended reunions – it’s a mystery in this industry. The best attended is 10, the most fun is 20,” she was quoted as saying. And with her signature deadpan wit she added, “The 30s are good, and beyond that they’re really good, because everyone wants to see who’s still alive.”
Upon retirement, Joan embarked on a new venture by attending clown school (an ambition she admitted she had secretly harbored for many years) and used her prolific public relations skills and effervescent personality as a volunteer to entertain senior citizens and other groups as Clarabelle the Clown. Joan was a gifted writer, talented pianist, classic film buff, and passionate advocate for animals, especially those with special needs. Most importantly, she was a wise mentor to her siblings, nephews and nieces (except, in the case of some us, on the subject of politics). She was a devout Catholic and attended St. Charles Borromeo Church in Orlando. She is predeceased by her parents, Marjorie and Andrew Evans, and nephew, Sammy Sovilla. She is survived by her brother, Andrew R. Evans of Bradenton, FL; sisters Sally Sovilla of Cincinnati, Rebecca Willard of Bradenton, and Christina Evans Loescher of Arlington, VA, and by many loving nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at Woodlawn Memorial Park at a later date. An online guestbook is available at www.baldwincremation.com.