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Joan's Story

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A celebration of Joan Elizabeth Phillips' life will be held on Earth Day, April 22, 2017, from 1:00-2:30 pm at the Scratch Annex in Norman, Oklahoma. All are welcome to come and share memories.

Joan entered this earth on May 18, 1953 (Norman, OK) to Raymond and Celia Phillips and took flight on February 6, 2017 (Norman, OK). She spent her early life moving all over the US with her family, and adult life traveling all over the world, but Oklahoma has always been home. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Georgia, and received masters from both Duquesne University and Emporia State University. Joan completed her PhD from the Union Institute while working full time and singly raising her two girls.
Joan was known worldwide for her accomplishments as an art therapist. Her practice and teaching took her to Ireland, South Africa, South Korea, Germany, NYU, St. Mary of the Woods in Indiana, and the University of Oklahoma. Joan opened her private practice, The Art Therapy Center, in Norman in 1985, and continued practicing there throughout her life. Many therapists were blessed with Joan's supervision, mentoring, and guidance. Her creativity was shown not only in her work as a teacher and counselor, but also in her photography, mixed media work, and poetry. Joan found every spare moment to make art cards or thoughtful trinkets to mail to friends all over the world.

Her greatest accomplishment would be her daughters, Carrie Elizabeth Olson and Amelia Claire Reiser. She raised them to be independent, civil-minded women, much like herself. Joan formed a tribe of strong women and men in her life to add character and grace to her lofty travels and adventures. She was never afraid to ask for an invitation; therefore, she was often given opportunities to live out loud. Her generosity allowed many to take part in her journey, either in person or through her writing. Joan was a published poet who used her words to heal and find meaning in the everyday beauty of life.

Joan is survived by her daughters, Carrie Olson and her spouse, Jonathan Olson; Amelia Reiser and her partner Clarence Solodkin; her grandsons, Elliot and Kieran Olson; 2 brothers, Gary and David Phillips, and many other family members who will miss her dearly. She is also survived by a plethora of good friends who were like family.
Joan was proceeded in death by her parents and her beloved Aunt Jan.
Joan had the innate ability to make everyone feel that they were the most important soul in her life. She leaves behind a legacy of love, grace and humor to all her family and friends.

In Lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Center for Children and Families, 210 S. Cockrel, Norman, OK 73071 or ccfinorman.org
Published on April 13, 2017
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