Fashion model

Joan Matthews, 98, model, painter, enjoyed world travel

Joan Kimball Matthews died on May 26, 2021. She was 98.

Joan Matthews obituary

Joan Matthews, 98, died May 26.

She lived a remarkable life as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. His family was his greatest joy.

Joan was born May 24, 1923 in New York, the daughter of Abbott Kimball and Marion Graham Kimball, and grew up in Bronxville, New York.

She attended Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina; Pine Manor College in Wellesley, Massachusetts; and Finch College in New York. Later, she attended Parsons School of Design to pursue her passion for painting.

In her twenties, while working at Lord & Taylor in New York, Joan’s long auburn hair and glamor caught the eye of John Powers, whose top modeling agency signed her with Mademoiselle magazine. A highlight of Joan’s life was her trip to Rio de Janeiro as a model for Mademoiselle.

Joan married William Cary Matthews on May 24, 1947 in New York. After a honeymoon in Bermuda, they moved to Darien, where they started their family. In 1959 they moved with their four children and Eva Mae Morris to San Francisco, where Bill was transferred to manage the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding.

Joan and Bill were married for 47 years, until Bill’s unexpected death in 1991. They had a dedicated life together at home and on many trips around the world.

Joan is best described as a gifted abstract expressionist and oil painter. Her language was color and she taught her children how to see the world artistically through form and composition.

She continued to study painting at the Art Academy in San Francisco and with painters in Carmel, California, where the family had a weekend home. In 1968 Joan had a successful solo exhibition at the Corwith Gallery on Union Street in San Francisco.

Joan radiated energy and optimism. She will be remembered as an outspoken, spirited conversationalist and an avid walker, often seen scaling the hills of San Francisco. She had a positive attitude and a wonderful sense of humor.

Joan was predeceased by her parents, her husband and her sister, Ann Kimball Andresen. She is survived by her four children, Willy Matthews (Laura) of Denver, Kim Matthews Wheaton (John) of Ridgefield, Washington; Cary Matthews Nowell (Tom) of San Francisco and Peter Matthews of New York; his grandchildren: Poppy Bernasek, Laura Evans, Will Wheaton, Henry Wheaton, Austin Matthews, Alistair Matthews, Peter Nowell, Abigail Nowell; and her great-grandchildren: Audrey Bernasek, Thomas Bernasek, Charlie Evans and Lucy Evans.

— This obituary was posted on by the SFGate website.