Joan Fairbairn

Memoir by Edie Elkan

When I think of Joan, I remember her joyful smiles and her absolute delight over playing the harp.  Taking her lessons with Leslie Stickley, Joan practiced diligently.  Very soon she added our harp circle to her musical activities, playing at every one of our holiday concerts and Somerset Folk Harp presentations.  Any time she encountered a new student, she offered them encouragement and support.  Indeed, she touched all of us at Bedside Harp. 

Joan made her intentions clear from the start—as soon as she would retire, she would begin our harp therapy certification program—indeed, she was passionate about being able to serve with her harp at the bedside.  That happy day finally came in the spring of 2012.  Playing her clinical internship hours at RWJ Hamilton, Joan got her wish to serve hundreds of patients throughout the hospital.  As she was just completing her certification requirements, she fell ill.  It was my distinct honor to be able to award Joan her certification shortly before she passed away. 

The scholarships offered in Joan’s memory have been put into place by so many who loved her—her family, her friends, and her Bedside Harp fellow journeyers.  Joan will forever be in all of our hearts.

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