Joan was born in New York City and her family moved to Chester, VA when she was very young. She was a graduate of Richmond Professional Institute. She was a school teacher who taught in Virginia and North Carolina before coming to Bloomfield,NJ in 1957 where she taught at Bloomfield High School. Joan was married in 1961 to Joseph C. Dickson, Jr. She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair, a longtime volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and a Trustee for the Montclair YMCA. She is survived by her husband Joe, her children Jean Anne Rose, Patricia Bastidas, Mary Jane Trainor, J. Craig Dickson III, Jennifer Fletcher, and her grandchildren Kelly Trainor, Patrick Trainor, Lauren Trainor, Clare Trainor, Sarah Bastidas, Eric Bastidas, Carly Fletcher, Miles Fletcher, and Joseph C. Dickson IV.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Memorial Endowment Fund of the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair or the Montclair Ambulance Unit.