Dr. Joan David, 81, Professor Emerita of English at Salve Regina University in Newport and former chairman of the English department, passed away on Monday, March 13. Born June 18, 1935 in Fitchburg, Mass., Joan was a beloved member of Salve Regina’s faculty for 49 years from 1963 until her retirement in 2012. While teaching full time, Joan also served as director of the University’s Department of Theatre from 1963 to 1986, staging two plays per year that included productions such as “Tidings Brought to Mary,” “Royal Gambit,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Godspell.” She was also a co-founder of and adviser for Salve Regina’s Circle of Scholars program. She was granted tenure in 1967 at the age of 32 and became a full professor in 1989. For Joan, teaching was not simply a profession but a vocation that inspired students and colleagues alike. Widely admired for her elegance, eloquence and joie de vivre, Joan inspired many to pursue careers in the performing arts, publishing and communications through her love for her students and for the spoken and written word. A scholar of medieval and Renaissance literature and drama, she received her bachelor’s degree from Newton College of the Sacred Heart (Boston College) in 1957, her master’s degree in drama from Catholic University of America in 1962, and her Ph.D. from University of Rhode Island in 1989. She began her teaching career at the age of 22 at Stone Ridge Country Day School in Washington, D.C., as a teacher of speech. She then became an English and drama teacher at Newton Country Day School in Newton, Mass., while concurrently serving as Director of Theatre at Newton College of the Sacred Heart. Before joining the Salve Regina faculty in 1963, she was also Director of Dramatics and a teacher of English Literature and French at Elmhurst Country Day School in Portsmouth, R.I.
She leaves her sister-in-law Helen David of Granby, Conn.; her three nieces Daryl E. Crockett-Grabus of Southborough, Mass., Jessica David of New Haven, Conn., Deana Lea David-Lissenberg of Granby, Conn., their spouses, Dean, Tammo and Arjen; her grandnieces and grandnephews Jocelyn Joan, Theodore, Daniel and Taylor and her cousins Teresa and Gaby. She is predeceased by her beloved brother, Louis C. David, Jr., and her parents, Bernadette (L’Abbe) David and Louis C. David.
A memorial Mass to celebrate Joan’s life and service will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2017 in Our Lady of Mercy Chapel, 100 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI, on Salve Regina’s campus with a reception following in the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Joan’s memory may be made to the SalveFund for Student Scholarships, c/o Salve Regina University, 100 Ochre Point Ave., Newport, R.I., 02840, and to Defenders of Animals, P.O. Box 5634, Weybosset Hill Station, Providence, R.I. 02903-0634. Funeral services under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home.