Joan Watson, a woman who affected more lives than we can count. Born in 1924, she went to nursing school shortly after the start of WWII. A resident of Pompton Lakes, NJ for the majority of her life, she was born in Corona, NY, to James Cornelius and Marie Rossomano McAward, in October, 1924. The first of four siblings, Joan was the motorcycling big sister and sister-in-law) to Jim (and Patricia), Jerry (and Phyllis, Catherine, and Valerie), and Jack McAward (and MaryAnn). She was married to Charlie Watson, and together they became motorcycle legends as they were instrumental in the creation of protocols of modern motorcycle racing. In the mid-60’s, Joan opened Joan’s Chain & Sprocket Sport ShopJoan was a lifetime member and early member of the Motor Maids of America, now an international organization of motorcycling women. Together with her friends, Joan rode between 10-15,000 miles each year. Joan started and finished on a Harley, selling that last bike when she was 77 years old. Joan and Charlie received the American Motorcyclist Association’s coveted Dud Perkins Award, for a lifetime of achievement and contribution to motorcycling and motorcycle racing.
Joan was a favorite aunt to many of us McAward nieces and nephews, and here’s the list - Brian, Doug, Barbara, Jerry Jr., John, Steve, Tim, Mary Jeanne, Sheila, James, Tony, Jimmy, Matt, and Scott. Show and Tell was always more fun when we would bring in things of Aunt Joan and Uncle Charlie. We all remember those crazy holidays crammed into Aunt Joan’s house full of food and love.
More than most people I have known, Joan walked the walk of which Jesus would be proud. If you were a homeless animal or person in need of a home or a rescue, Joan was your gal. Needed money? Joan was there. Needed a ride? Just call.
So celebrate Joan’s life. She did not want a wake, or a funeral. She wanted to have a party thrown, a big party, where we told stories about her, her life, and her adventures.
And more than anything, she wanted to tell you “I’ve had a great life. I love you all”
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