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Obituary: Joan Scott

Joan Scott.

Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 9:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 9:52 a.m.

Life-long Petaluma resident Joan Scott tended with care the things she loved, from her family to her vegetable and flower garden to the delicate porcelain pieces she painted.

Scott died last Monday at the Petaluma home she and her husband, Basil Leon Scott, built 58 years ago. She was 77. The cause was cancer, which she was diagnosed with in August, family members said.

Scott was born Joan Elaine Hinrichsen on March 6, 1935, at Petaluma General Hospital. Her parents were egg ranchers Clifford and Rose Hinrichsen.

She arrived in the world weighing just four pounds.

“Her father built her a small incubator box using a chick-warming light to keep her warm at night,” said Scott's daughter Judy Fornaciari, of Sebastopol.

A graduate of Petaluma High School, she met Basil Scott, who was stationed at was then Two Rock Army base, in January 1953 at a dance at Hermann Sons Hall in Petaluma. “It was love at first sight,” said Fornaciari.

The couple married in 1954 and built their home on a corner of her grandfather's Eastman Lane farm.

For nearly five decades, Joan Scott worked as a partner with her husband in his business, Scott's Plumbing, as bookkeeper, secretary and, Fornaciari said, “all-around moral support for my dad.”

Scott also pursed artistic and creative pursuits as a seamstress, cake decorator, floral arranger and porcelain artist.

She made all the wedding cakes for her children and grandchildren. She painted porcelain vases, plates, lamps and tiles with subjects ranging from wildflowers to animals to a portrait of her great-granddaughter.

The Scotts' property enjoyed a view overlooking fields, a creek and Petaluma's hills. She had a studio on the land and there she taught students the porcelain art she prized.

She was also a master cook. She'd learned as a child how to pickle and can vegetables, and she taught Fornaciari how, too.

She oversaw what became a family tradition, a holiday-season baking day that turned out cookies by the dozen to send to friends far and near. That practice embodied her mother's warm spirit, said Fornaciari.

“She always thought of the other person first. There was always a seat and food at her tables, and if someone needed a helping hand she would be there,” Fornaciari said.

In the community, Scott took part in her daughters' schools' PTAs, was a sister of the Upsilon Masters No. 269 Beta Sigma Phi Sorority for 50 years, a member of the Porcelain Artists and of Top of the Bay RV Group.

Petaluma was woven through her. “My dad and she would travel and she was always so happy to get home,” said Fornaciari, “because in all their travels she said there was never any place as beautiful as right where she lived.”

Scott also is survived by her husband, daughters Valerie Baker of Santa Rosa, and Cindy Dray and Susan Aguilar, of Petaluma, and her sister Gladys Gallo, of Petaluma.

A celebration of life is to be held Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Petaluma Elks' Lodge, 2105 South McDowell Blvd.

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