Our dear Mother, Grandma, Great Grandma, cousin and friend now rests in heaven with the Lord, her “Georgie,” and family passed before her.
Joan was born in New York City to Herman Muster and Elizabeth Schillinger. An only child during the Great Depression, she and her parents lived most of her childhood with extended family on the east coast, cherishing these relationships all of her 86 years.
Joan moved to Livermore in 1962, as a housewife and mother to her three children. After her divorce, being independent, hard-working, and out of necessity, she started working at a local bank. She obtained her real estate license and became a broker selling real estate in Livermore close to 40 years.
While at the bank, she met her soon to be husband, George Kumparak, when he called in to order pink checks! They married in 1973, “One life, one love.” George predeceased her in 2004.
Joan is survived by her three children, Lisa Harris, Lori (Steve) Carpenter, and Paul (Kelly) Brostrom. She is also survived by stepchildren, Kim (Dave) Chavez, “Chip” George Kumparak Jr, Matthew Kumparak, and Stacy (Ron) Chavez. She leaves 16 precious grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. It meant so much to Joan to have reunited with her cousins, Aleta, Paul, and Leanne, and some of their children in recent years.
Joan was cheerful with a playful spirit and a very generous person. She was a perfectionist and took pride in all she did. As a successful real estate agent, she valued her clients as they were friendships to her. She was especially fond of client Celia, who later became her caregiver and a part of the family. We cannot thank Celia enough for her kindness, care, and compassion in mom’s final months.
To Joan, education was a priority. She furthered her children’s and grandchildren’s education, as well as her numerous sponsored students in Croatia, Israel, and Ghana. She supported the Croatian Scholarship Foundation (CSF), of which George was a co-founder since 1989.
Joan and George enjoyed countless hours collecting antiques and repurposing many items, such as brick, tile, wood, paneling, storage sheds and other utility items from old structures. She enjoyed her many clocks and dolls, as well.
Joan was a member of the Ala-Costa Historical Doll Club, Golden Hills Doll Study, and past president of the United Federation Doll Club. One could say she cherished the many “playtime” events with her dear friends and the dolls. She loved to travel and found beautiful Croatia to be her favorite place. Joan lived out the importance of family and was truly our family’s matriarch.
A private burial was held, however, there will be a celebration of life once Covid allows. Thank you to everyone who showed so much love and support during this difficult time. As expressed by one her friends, “heaven has gained another angel.” For those who would like to donate in memory of Joan, she requested donations go to CSF, P.O. Box 290, San Ramon, California, 94583, or www.croatianscholarship.org.
“…And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20