Obituary: Joan MacLachlan Newkirk
Joan MacLachlan Newkirk of Newport, N.H., formerly of Montclair, died on Dec. 23, 2018, after an extended battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ms. Newkirk was born in 1932 in West Orange to Theodore and Ethel (Bancroft) MacLachlan. A daughter of a career firefighter and Montclair police commissioner, after graduating from Montclair High School in 1950, Ms. Newkirk received her registered nursing degree from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in New York City and went on to persue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
Beginning in 1956, Ms. Newkirk and her first husband, Alfred Wallace Shriver, made a family with their three children, Virginia Lee MacLachlan (nee Shriver), Trip (Alfred Wallace III) Shriver, and Charlotte Ann Shriver Sargent. For the following decade, she continued to live and work in Virginia and North Carolina, holding esteemed positions including Director of Nursing at Gastonia Community Hospital in Gastonia, N.C., and volunteering her time to civic organizations such as the Young Republicans.
In 1965, Ms. Newkirk returned with her children to her hometown of Montclair, where she continued her nursing career at Mountainside Hospital. There, Ms. Newkirk was a co-founder of the local youth ice hockey club, serving her own son and countless others throughout North Jersey. Together with her parents and children, she enjoyed seaside weekends in Ocean Grove.
In 1972, Ms. Newkirk and her children moved to Norwich, Vt. There, she began a long and distinguished career at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. Returning to higher education while working full time and parenting singly, she received a further degree from New England College and a master’s degree from Dartmouth College. Her professional accomplishments were recognized through her promotions through nursing and management to assistant director of nursing. During her tenure in this position, she oversaw the practical teaching partnership with Northeastern University and Colby Sawyer nursing programs.
In 1976, she wed George Robert Newkirk. They resided in Hanover and Lebanon, N.H, until they retired from Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and Dartmouth College, respectively, and then settled in New London, N.H.
She also enjoyed attending antique auctions, volunteering at Wm. Smith’s Auction House in Plainfield, N.H., and together with her dearest friend, Marsha Peirce of Bradford, Vt., collecting and restoring furniture. Marsha traveled 120 miles weekly for care visits during her declining health.
Ms. Newkirk is survived by her husband George Robert Newkirk; her children C. Ann Shriver and David R. Sargent, of Norwich, Vt.; Trip and Ulka Shriver of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Lee (Pope) MacLachlan of Rochester, N.H.; stepson Robert “Bob” and Caroline Newkirk, of New London, N.H.; stepdaughter Susan Newkirk, of Lebanon, N.H; grandchildren Tucker, Timothy and Charlotte Sargent; Sabina Shriver; Nathan, Joanna, Rachel, Jared, Christina, Andrew and Rebecca MacLachlan; and Corinne, Catherine and Jessica Newkirk.
Chadwick Funeral Services of New London, N.H. is handling arrangements. There will be a celebration of Ms. Newkirk’s life with her family at the First Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27.