San Francisco Chronicle

Joan Einhorn Morris

May 9, 1932 - January 16, 2023


Joan Einhorn Morris died peacefully at home in San Rafael, CA on January 16, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. Joan was kind, gracious, and elegant, with a laugh that would lift your heart.

A child of pre-WWI Jewish immigrants, Joan was born on May 9, 1932, in Queens, NY. She was raised by her father, Morris Einhorn, following her mother’s death.

Inspired by her father’s love of music and singing, Joan developed a passion for classical music. A gifted soprano, she sang on the radio while in high school and studied voice at Queens College.

In 1951, she married Robert Liebman, and they moved to Buffalo, NY. While Robert was serving in the army in Columbia SC, she met Joan Field, her dear friend of 70 years.

After the birth of her two children, Joan found community in the Buffalo Unitarian Universali­st Church. She sang in their choir for many years, performed in an internatio­nal tour, and served on their board of directors.

Joan was an independen­t and determined woman. She divorced in 1974 and soon graduated from SUNY at Buffalo. In 1977, after obtaining her Master’s degree, she began at the HUD office in Buffalo. She found her career path in fundraisin­g, beginning at the Buffalo Zoo and then at two Buffalo area hospitals.

She moved to San Francisco in 1985 to become the Director of Developmen­t at St. Francis Memorial Hospital. She ended her career in San Pablo, CA, as the Director of the Brookside Hospital Foundation. Joan continued singing as a member of the San Francisco Symphony Choral Society.

In 1989, Joan married Edward Durbin and moved to Pt. Richmond, CA. They traveled, enjoyed the arts, and were active in the Richmond Yacht Club.

Joan radiated elegance, through her iconic style, language skills, and a careful use of etiquette. Whether it was among friends or with her blended family, Joan’s welcoming spirit was present in the way she made sure everyone felt seen and included.

Joan leaves behind many who loved her, including her children Mark (Daron) and Erica, her step-children Yarrow (Stef) and Meg (Clinton), as well as her grandchild­ren Naomi, Rayden (Nessa), Eli (Kelsey), Gabriel, Austin, and Leila.

A celebratio­n of life will be held at the Richmond Yacht Club at 1:30 p.m. on May 6th, 2023. Further informatio­n about the event may be found at https://memorialso­ .

Joan requested that donations be sent to the American Friends Service Committee, the Environmen­tal Defense Fund, or a charity of your choice.

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