Obituary: Joan Chason Brooks
October 27, 2016
Joan Chason Brooks, born Dec. 31, 1932 in Evanston, Ill., passed away peacefully October 18, 2016.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Harold and Charlotte Loomis Chason, and by her son James. Joan grew up in Evanston, where her father had a dental practice. Her mother was the first female valedictorian at Northwestern University. The Chasons have a strong Southern heritage. They were pioneers in southwestern Georgia and opened the first medical practices and clinics in the area. Joan's Great Uncle was an early chemist at Coca Cola. Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone with the Wind", was her father's cousin. Joan's godfather, Dan "Hap" Motlow, scion of Jack Daniels Whiskey, was her father's college roommate at Vanderbilt University. Joan majored in geography and drama at the University of Colorado, and earned her Bachelors degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She later received a Masters in drama from the Royal Academy of Drama in London. After moving to Houston in the late 1960s, she was active in the Country Playhouse, located in Town and Country Village, and acted in numerous plays. She and a partner, Bonnie Ambrose, founded Performing Arts Supply. Joan worked nights with the Lighthouse for the Blind, assisted at high school drama departments, and worked part time as a make-up artist for Houston Grand Opera and other touring companies. Beverly Sills was one of Joan's more colorful acquaintances. Joan sold her interest in Performing Arts Supply and worked as a chemical trader before "retiring" and moving to Grand County, Colorado. She had fond memories from her youth of many family summer vacations spent at the Focus Ranch north of Steamboat Springs. Joan kept busy in the Tabernash-Granby area, teaching ESL classes and working extensively in the Handicapped and Blind Skier programs at Winter Park. Joan was an avid supporter of the Grand Lake Theatre and the Winter Park Art Affair.
Joan is survived by her sons Neil and wife Terrell, Terry and wife Marilyn, and grandchildren Christina Brooks Andrick, Kathryn, Allison, and Ryan.