July 17, 1940 ~ January 29, 2013
ARLINGTON -- Joan Harter Stanley (Mrs. John M. Stanley) passed away Tuesday evening, Jan. 29, 2013, at a Dallas hospital following a brief illness. Funeral: 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Arlington. Interment: Moore Memorial Gardens, Arlington. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Wade Funeral Home, Arlington. Joan was born July 17, 1940, in Cheney, Wash., to Mary Wood and Dana Harter, Ph.D. She began studying violin during her elementary years as she attended public schools in Cheney and continued playing into her high school years. She also participated in the prestigious summer camp of the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Mich. When she was in high school, one of her performances caught the attention of an official of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, N.Y. The official persuaded Joan's parents to allow Joan to attend Eastman beginning at age 16. She graduated from Eastman as a violin performance major and immediately won a coveted place as a first violinist in the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Later, she elected to do graduate studies under renowned concert violinist Fredell Lack at the University of Houston School of Music, where she subsequently earned her master's degree in performance. During her 21-year career as violinist with the Houston Symphony, Joan simultaneously performed as first violinist in the Texas Chamber Orchestra, the Houston Pops Orchestra, Houston's Virtuoso String Quartet and violinist with the Pasadena Piano Trio. Joan retired from the Houston Symphony in 1982, when the family moved to Arlington. Still driven to perform, Joan won a position in the first violin section of the Dallas Opera Orchestra, performed with the First Baptist Church of Arlington Orchestra, and formed an Arlington-based string quartet that subsequently performed throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As a professional performer, she maintained membership in the American Federation of Musicians. Further, Joan launched an ambitious teaching career that lasted throughout her life. She worked as an adjunct teacher of violin at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary of Fort Worth, Dallas Baptist College, Texas Wesleyan University and the University of Texas at Arlington. She also established a private violin studio in her Arlington home, where she accepted a select number of gifted young artists. A tireless music educator, Joan volunteered, in addition, to coach aspiring violinists of several orchestral directors in the Arlington ISD. At leisure, Joan enjoyed traveling and camping with her husband and special occasions with her children and grandchildren; she loved her home and shopping and was known as an excellent host. Survivors: Joan's survivors include devoted husband of 47 years, John M. Stanley; son, Dana Stanley of West; daughter Mary Stanley Williams and her husband, Bradley, of Olathe, Kan.; and grandchildren, Caden Stanley, and Hadley, Reese and Walker Williams.