We are sad to announce the death of Joan Watson, who died on 5 November aged 101. Joan was Reader Emeritus in our diocese who led a remarkable life as a missionary in South Asia with Interserve (previously known as the Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship), beginning at age 40 in 1962. In 1973 she returned to the Island to care for her parents and to teach at St Ninian’s High School. Eleven years later she returned to the sub-continent initially to support newly arriving missionaries and then as a senior Bible teacher at the United Bible Training Centre, a residential Bible College in Gujranwala, Pakistan. Every week she met with two elderly ladies from the local church to pray for revival. After a few years the numbers in the church had grown and the quality of their discipleship had improved as one of her co-workers, Freda, noted.
When it became impossible to renew her visa in 1984, Joan moved to a different country in the region and a Mission Guest House for a time, and after that went to teach in United Bible Training Seminary until she retired in 1990, and returned to the Isle of Man.
Joan was fluent in Hindi and Urdu and is remembered for her gentle kindness and empathy to all she met – a wonderful witness for Christ everywhere. Another ex-colleague remembers that she always had lots to share, telling stories with gusto and engaging in stimulating conversations. She had a good sense of fun and often made people laugh.
A special thanks to Jeanette Short MBE for gathering this wonderful collection of memories and celebratory moments in the links below:
Joan was a warm-hearted, supportive friend, lovely with children. She didn’t hesitate to speak her mind, and was a great person to have around. She was always ready to pray with people and see things from a spiritual perspective. Joan was a great blessing to many people, spending her last years in Cummel Moar Care Home in Ramsey. Even there, with very poor eyesight, she was always interested in her visitors, encouraging them in their Christian walk, and appreciative of the care she received.
May Joan Rest in peace and Rise in Glory.