Cover photo for Joan Marie (Bigham)  Moore's Obituary
Joan Marie (Bigham)  Moore Profile Photo
1923 Joan 2021

Joan Marie (Bigham) Moore

May 6, 1923 — July 1, 2021


On Thursday, July 1, 2021, Joan Marie Moore, cherished wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, left this world to join her beloved husband, son, sister and parents in the kingdom of Heaven.  Born on May 6, 1923 to Alva and Marie Bigham, Joan grew up in Lancaster as a farm girl across the street from the Methodist Campground.  She spent many of her days there with friends, playing, singing and worshiping and growing into the woman she would become.  She would take fruits and vegetables from her family’s garden and sell them at the campground.  And it is there where she and her future husband, Melvin, would begin their courtship.

She graduated Lancaster High School in 1940 and completed nursing school at The Ohio State University in 1944.  She and Melvin married later that year and began their journey in Philadelphia where Joan worked as a nurse in private practice.  They moved back to Lancaster in 1945 and from 5th Avenue to the former Giesey home on Little Brook Drive, Joan nurtured her family just like the beautiful flowers and gardens she learned to love so much as a child.  Joan dedicated these years to raising three spirited children, Tom, Jon and Molly.  Although Melvin was a successful businessman, when it came to the household, he would always admit that while he may be President, Joan was Chairman of the Board.

Once their children were raised, Joan and Melvin began living part time in Florida.  There, they enjoyed boating and fishing the waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean on their boat, the Golden Olive.  Joan discovered her love for walking the beach, looking for shells, and had accumulated quite a collection.  They passed on their passion for the water to their friends and family.  One of many gifts they shared with others.

Most recently, Joan had the honor and privilege of passing on her own nursing pins to her great-granddaughter, Mackenzie, upon her graduation from Mount Carmel Nursing School.

Joan felt truly at home in Lancaster and spent her later years enjoying family and friends, meticulously tending her flowers, supporting the community, watching Ohio State Football and Cincinnati Reds baseball, never missing her Thursday hair appointment and faithfully completing her daily crossword puzzles in order to keep her mind sharp.  And it worked.  You could not get anything past her.

Joan was such a vibrant person and brought joy to so many.  Her smile was infectious and she loved making others smile through her quick wit and humor.  She lit up any room she entered and knew no strangers by the time she exited.  She was a most remarkable woman and will be forever in our hearts.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin; son, Jon (Sue) Moore; parents, Alva and Marie; and sister, Carol.  She is survived by her son, Thomas (Nan) Moore; daughter, Molly (Brad) Heck; grandchildren, Benjamin (Jill) Moore, Brian (Elizabeth) Moore, Hollie (Mike) Williams, Jon (Jessica) Moore, Jr., Justin Matheny, and Matthew Matheny; 12 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; and countless friends.

The family would like to extend its most heartfelt thanks to all who provided kind and compassionate care to Joan including Fairhope Hospice, Home Instead Senior Care, Amanda Williams, Mackenzie Moore, and most of all, Hollie Williams, who has dedicated the last 3+ years of her life to keeping her promise to Melvin to watch over Joan, protect and provide for her until they could be reunited.  For this, there are no words.

A memorial service will be held at Frank E. Smith Funeral Home 405 N. Columbus St., Lancaster, OH 43130 at 11:00 am, Thursday, July 8, 2021. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.   A private internment will take place at Forest Rose Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent c/o Frank E. Smith Funeral Home.  Donations in Joan’s name may be made to Fairhope Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 282 Sells Rd., Lancaster, OH 43130 or First United Methodist Church, 163 East Wheeling St., Lancaster, OH 43130.

To send an online condolence, and sign the guest book, please visit

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, July 8, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Frank E. Smith Funeral Home Chapel

405 North Columbus Street, Lancaster, OH 43130

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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