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Obituary of Joan Day, 91


Joan "Jodi" Meredith Day, 91, of State College, Pennsylvania, passed away on Sunday, July 8, 2018. She was born in Des Moines, Iowa on August 22, 1926, the daughter of Bernard Harvey Meredith and Ethel Agar Meredith. Her parents, and her husband of 64 years, Lee Monroe Day, preceded her in death. They were married on September 8, 1948, after Jodi earned her B.S. degree in textiles from Iowa State University. They began their married life in Madison, Wisconsin, where Jodi earned a place on the blacklist of Wisconsin's Sen. Joseph McCarthy. This distinction was a source of considerable pride in later years.

After the birth of her children, she and Lee moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1955, establishing a pattern of frequent moves. In 1961, Lee joined the Kennedy Administration, and they moved to McLean, Virginia. There, Lee's workday extended to 18 hour days, before Jodi confronted him. Jodi was the chief defender of her family, mostly against stresses from within. Lee quit his job, turned down an offer to become the next president of Kraft Foods, and moved the family to State College. There, Jodi got a chance to build her own house from scratch, and her children stayed close, each graduating from Penn State.

In 1974, Lee and Jodi moved to Ithaca, New York, and a chance to build another house. When Lee retired to a life of golfing at North Myrtle Beach in 1988, Jodi was forced to content herself with walks along the beach, looking for seashells, still finding time to build and decorate two beach houses. The lure of State College brought them back in 1998. They moved into the Village at Penn State five years later, and in 2010, she moved from one end of the Village to the other. She was one of the few people who actually liked moving to a new home.

Jodi loved to sew, and made most of her own clothes. She loved traveling, visited all 50 states and enjoyed extensive international travel. She also loved art, and sketched, painted, and even made two stained glass windows of her own design. But her greatest accomplishment was undoubtedly her family, where she proved that love was more powerful than ambition and other personal failings.

She is survived by her son, Michael Day and his wife, the former Carol Ann Stefanko, of Hagerstown, Maryland, and by her daughter, Merelee Garrison and her husband, Dr. David Garrison, of State College. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Thomas L. Day (Sophia) of Chicago, Matthew B. Garrison (Amber) of Columbia, Maryland, Dr. Anne Day Leong (Wei) of North Bethesda, Maryland, Scott Garrison of New York City, Melissa Harms (Craig) of New Castle, Delaware, and Dr. Kathryn Gloyer (John Flude) of State College, as well as four great-grandchildren, Tyler and Ryan Harms, Jake Flude and Emily Leong.

The family will host a memorial reception in the Cub Lounge at the Village at Penn State on Saturday, August 4th, 2018 from 2-4 pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels, 205 S. Garner St., State College, PA 16801 or Centre County Paws, 1401 Trout Rd., State College, PA 16801.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Name of Deceased

Joan Day



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

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