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1937 Joan 2024

Joan Brittain Shearin

November 9, 1937 — May 5, 2024

Clemson

JoAn Brittain Shearin, 86, of Clemson, S.C. died at her home on 05/05/2024.

Born in Mills River, NC, JoAn was the daughter of Randall and Velma Brittain. She was a retired math teacher, having taught in Oconee, Anderson and Pickens County public schools for 26 years.

She grew up on a small farm at the confluence of North and South Mills River, about a mile from Pisgah National Forest. Her mother, Velma, played the piano for Mills River Baptist Church, so JoAn was there nearly every time the church doors were open. The hymns, Bible stories, and sermons that she heard growing up helped shape her life. She made a public profession of faith at age 12, and was baptized in the icy waters of Mills River, that flows beside the church. Other influences, in addition to family and church, came from the teachers at Mills River School. They instilled in her and her two brothers a desire for learning.  After graduating from high school, JoAn, Jere and Jim received a total of eight degrees from various institutions, including Clemson College.

JoAn came to Clemson in 1962 as a graduate student and joined Clemson First Baptist Church. There, she met Arthur Shearin, and they were married in the old sanctuary by Dr. Charles Arrington on the same day that JoAn received her M.S. degree in mathematics. (JoAn was the first woman to receive this degree at Clemson.)  She served as the coordinator of the nursery of Clemson First Baptist, until moving with her family to Georgetown, S.C.  JoAn, Arthur, and their two daughters moved back to Clemson in 1976, and rejoined Clemson First Baptist Church. JoAn continued teaching math until 1999. Towards the end of her teaching career, she also served as caregiver for Arthur, until his death in 1997 from a debilitating condition.

Upon retirement from teaching, JoAn became active in the Pickens County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.  She helped with two Women’s Builds, working with the Tues./Thurs. construction crew and serving as Secretary of the Board for ten years. She also volunteered at the Dream Center/ ReStore in Seneca for many years.

At church, she served on the Stewardship & Finance, Kitchen, New Members, Social, Arts Enrichment, Nominating and Personnel Ministry Teams. She made eight trips to Honduras with the Church Mission Team. She served two terms as deacon to the Arrington/Esther Class.

Also, after retirement, she was able to travel with her dear friend and travel companion, Carl Lane. Together, they enjoyed hiking, camping, biking, boating and bird-watching at Lake Keowee, across the U.S, and abroad. They hiked at Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Katahdin in Maine, the Grand Canyon, Mt. Denali in Alaska and over sixty times to the top of Table Rock in S.C. JoAn also travelled to Israel and Jordan in 2015 with a group from church, and to China in 2016 with her friend, Jane Foster.

In addition to her husband, JoAn was predeceased by her father, mother, and brother, Jim Brittain (survived by his wife, Jo Ann). She leaves behind her brother, Jere Brittain (Joanne), of Mills River, daughter, Catherine Shearin, of Clemson, daughter, Susan Clark (John) and two grandchildren, Sylvia and James Clark, of Watkinsville, GA. She also leaves behind the family of Carl Lane, who she considered as family: his daughter-in-law, Charlene Lane and granddaughter Rachel Lane, both of Inman, SC, granddaughter Abby Cunningham (Drew), and great-grandson, Lane, of Atlanta, GA.  She also leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family is grateful for the recent in-home care from Crescent Hospice and The Key.

A memorial service is planned for May 18, 2024, at 2 PM at Clemson First Baptist Church. The family will receive friends in the Family Life Center prior to the service starting at 1 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Arrington/Esther Sunday School Class at Clemson First Baptist Church.   

Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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