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Obit: Joan Pelton 1932-2012

GUEST,Jesse Pelton 28 Feb 12 - 09:16 PM
Beer 28 Feb 12 - 10:39 PM
katlaughing 28 Feb 12 - 11:06 PM
ChanteyLass 29 Feb 12 - 07:10 PM
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Subject: Obit: Joan Pelton 1932-2012
From: GUEST,Jesse Pelton
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 09:16 PM

My mother's obituary will appear in tomorrow's Burlington (VT) Free Press. (February 29. She might appreciate that it will appear on the only day of the year that can be called "rare.") It will be available online, along with a guest book, for 30 days.

The text of the obituary follows. In the best folk tradition, please forward, borrow, plagiarize, or otherwise spread the word as you see fit.

Joan Pelton, a long time Waterbury, Vermont resident, died in Morrisville, Vermont on her 80th birthday, February 15, 2012.

Joan was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, on February 15, 1932 to William and Mary-Scott Mason. The family moved to Waterbury two years later, and Vermont was her heart's home for the rest of her life. She attended public schools in Waterbury, graduating in 1949. She then attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, and graduated cum laude with a degree in mathematics in 1953. While there, she met and married Clifford Pelton, the father of her four sons. Cliff's job took the family to Vermont, Tennessee, Virginia, and New York before the couple divorced in 1976, after which Joan returned to Waterbury for rest of her life.

Music was a pleasure that was central to Joan's life. She sang in church choirs, musical plays, and folk music clubs. She played traditional New England contra dance music on a variety of instruments in bands such as Fennig's All-Stars and the Pumpkin Hook Old-Time Orchestra, and then she founded and ran a record label (Alcazar) and an independent label distributor (Silo) to record, promote, and distribute music that she treasured. She loved the non-stop music and camaraderie of Fox Hollow, Old Songs, and other folk music festivals, and Alcazar's retail division provided a perfect reason to attend as many as possible. When she was not making music, Joan enjoyed taking a long walk on a country road or sailing on Lake Champlain in the company of family and friends.

Joan suffered from a neurodegenerative disease that eventually took her life. She is survived by her brother Peter Mason and sister Ann Louise Courchaine; her sons William, Jesse, and Aaron Pelton; her daughter-in-law Alison Watt; her grandson Alec Pelton; and cousins, nieces, and nephews across the country. Her brother Benjamin Mason and son Seth Pelton predeceased her.

A memorial service and reception will be held at Waterbury Congregational Church on Saturday June 9 at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers and in memory of Joan's love for dance music, please consider a donation to the New England Folk Festival Association either via mail (NEFFA, PO Box 2789, Acton MA 01720) or via the Donate button at

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Subject: RE: Obit: Joan Pelton 1932-2012
From: Beer
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 10:39 PM

In what you have posted, Joan was a great lady. R.I.P. and sympathies to you and all her love ones.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Joan Pelton 1932-2012
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 11:06 PM

She sounds like a grand lady. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Much sympathy to all of her family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Joan Pelton 1932-2012
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 07:10 PM

What a wonderful person she must have been. I am sure you have great memories. My condolences to her family and friends.

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