Dr. Joan Marie DeAlbuquerque

Published 5:23 pm Saturday, October 9, 2021

Dr. Joan Marie DeAlbuquerque, 54, of Decorah, Iowa, passed away on Sept. 6, 2021.

Born and raised in Mt. Clemens, Mich., Joan attended Clintondale schools.

Her passion for music led her to become an accomplished musician and conductor. She was a teacher, band director, conductor, professor, pianist, singer, flutist, and published author.

Joan followed her brother Phil to Michigan State University and obtained her Bachelor of Music degree, then went on to earn a Master of Music in Wind Conducting. She earned her Doctorate in Wind Conducting at the University of North Texas.

Joan was band director at both Pinckney High School in Michigan and Adams State University in Colorado. She was the associate director of bands at California State University, Long Beach and an associate professor of music and director of bands at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa for nine years. Under her direction, her bands performed all over the world.

Joan loved to travel, cook her family’s Indian food recipes, and had a great love of animals, starting with her childhood cats “Puff” and “Smokey.” She would later visit her big brother Philip backstage when he toured with the Greatest Show On Earth, admiring all the animals, including the “big” cats.

She and Phil shared many adventures, including a magical New Year’s Eve in Montreal. As the clock ticked down to midnight, they saw that the bag of balloons was still up on the ceiling. They ran to the dance floor, and Phil lifted Joan high up in the air. She pulled the string, and at the stroke of midnight, the balloons floated down to the partygoers below, signaling the start of the New Year.

She leaves to cherish her memory her loving brother, Philip deAlbuquerque (Sammie) of Lake Charles, La.; in addition to her mother, other siblings, and many loving family, friends, colleagues, and students.

Memorial contributions can be made in her memory to the animal rescue group LaPaw Rescue. For PayPal go to SWLA.TNR@gmail.com or VENMO go to @dana_frye_6 (or please choose your own local rescue group). Condolences can be mailed to Phil deAlbuquerque 722 Pujo Street, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601.

Please visit and enjoy her Facebook page “Joan DeAlbuquerque memories.”