San Francisco Chronicle

Joan Ehrman Avenali

September 12, 1918 - February 9, 2023


Joan Ehrman Avenali passed away peacefully at her home at the San Francisco Towers on February 9, 2023 at the age of 104.

Joan was born in San Francisco on September 12,1918, the daughter of Alfred Ehrman and Emma Bissinger Ehrman. She grew up in San Francisco and attended the Katherine Delmar Burke School and the Branson School. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1940, she joined the United States Navy, where she proudly served her country as a radio operator during World War II.

On July 25,1945, she married Peter Avenali at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She and Peter were happily married for 69 years before his death in 2014.

Joan loved weekends at the family vineyard in Rutherford, playing bridge, lunching with friends at the Francisca Club, and family vacations at Lake Creek Lodge in Camp Sherman, Oregon and on Kauai. Together with Peter, Joan supported many worthy causes and was a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants.

Joan cherished her children, grandchild­ren, and great grandchild­ren. She is survived by daughter Marianna (Susie) Schaefer (Ted), son Michael Avenali (Marilyn), grandaught­er Hillary Cash (Tom), grandson Christophe­r Schaefer (Meaghan), granddaugh­ter Katherine Roberts (Jeremy), and great grandchild­ren Ryan and Devon Schaefer and Emily and Matthew Roberts. She was predecease­d by her husband Peter, her eldest son Peter “Cado” Avenali, and grandson Joshua Avenali.

Our family would like to thank The Key(Home Care Assistance) and ANX Hospice for their extraordin­arily kind and compassion­ate care for Joan in her final days.

Memorial contributi­ons can be made to the California Academy of Sciences, the UC Berkeley Foundation, or the charity of your choice.

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