Joan Crawford Poser
  • 88 years old
  • Date of birth: Sep 25, 1926
  • Date of passing: Aug 25, 2015
Let the memory of Joan be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Joan Poser, 88, born on September 25, 1926 and passed away on August 25, 2015. We will remember her forever.

Joan Crawford Poser, of Boston, died August 25, 2015 of natural causes.  Born in 1926, she was 88 years old.  She was the well-loved wife of the late Charles M. Poser, M.D. for 60 years.  She is survived by her son William Poser of Prince George, British Columbia, and son Nicholas Poser of Watertown, Massachusetts, Grandson Benjamin Poser, Daughter-in-Law Lucy Lovrien, and sister-in-law Eliane Poser Strip.

She was the only child of William and Lillian Crawford.  Her childhood began in New York City, but the family moved for a while to Brookline, Massachusetts. Later, she graduated from high school in New York City at age 16.   She went on to graduate from Hunter College at age 20, and was awarded Phi Beta Kappa there.  Her college friend, Eliane Strip, later introduced Joan to Eliane’s brother Charles Poser, her future husband.

Joan worked in book publishing at several houses, including Random House, where she worked with Bennett Cerf.   She met many notable authors and illustrators including Truman Capote and Ludwig Bemelmans.

In 1950 she married Charles Poser, then a medical student.  They lived in New York City until 1956 when they moved to Kansas City, Missouri.  Her first child William John Poser was born in 1956.  Dr. Poser was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, and the family lived in Antwerp, Belgium from 1958 through 1959.  Both Posers were fluent in French.

They moved back to Kansas City, and her second son Nicholas was born in 1959.  Joan cared for her family, became famous for her dinner parties, and also began work on her master’s degree in classics.  

Due to her husband’s increasing prominence in neurology, Joan traveled with him worldwide to medical conferences.  Dr. Poser was a world-renowned neurologist and expert on multiple sclerosis.  Joan traveled extensively with him, including to Columbia, Brazil, Iceland, Italy, Sardinia, and Belgium.  She edited her husband’s medical papers for many years.  Some of Dr. Poser’s patients and colleagues became close friends.

The family moved to Burlington, Vermont in 1969 where her husband became chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Vermont Medical School.   They entertained widely and made more friends.   She was a great cook, with French and Chinese specialties.  Her parties were legendary.   Joan and Charles remained attached to Vermont for the rest of their lives, making frequent trips there.  She skied both cross-country and downhill, and hiked in the Green Mountains with the UVM women’s group.    A lifelong liberal Democrat, she voted for Henry Wallace for president in 1948, and closely followed current events.

Joan was awarded her masters in classics in May 1973 by the University of Vermont.  The thesis concerned the brilliant slave and foolish master relationship in Roman comedy and French literature, and was written in French.   She was also fluent in Latin.   

In 1981 Joan and Charles moved to Massachusetts, to a large row house in Boston.  By this time, both sons had completed college:  Bill at Harvard, and Nick at the University of Vermont.   Joan’s love of gardening took a new form in Boston, and she began a long association with the Harvard University Arnold Arboretum as a volunteer giving tours and helping with requests for information.

In 1993, her beloved grandson Benjamin was born in Boston.  She was very close with him, and often cared for him, and instilled in him a love of literature.

She was an avid reader in both English and French, and subscribed to the New Yorker for over 60 years.  Joan and Charles loved and supported classical music and opera.  Joan was an elegant woman with a distinct and lovely style.  She was witty, charming, a wonderful conversationalist, and surprisingly shy.   She was a warm person surrounded by sons and a husband with strong personalities.

Joan and Charles celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in September, 2010, with champagne, blini, caviar, and many dear friends.   Dr. Charles Poser died shortly thereafter in November 2010.

A private memorial service is scheduled. 


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Peggy Gelinas on 5th October 2015

"Dear Nick, William and your extended family:  David and I are so sorry to hear of your loss and share in your sorrow.  You captured her life and spirit.  I benefitted greatly from your parents generosity over the years.  So many special memories come rushing back and please know that I will be forever grateful.  I am hoping that family and friends will comfort you, hold you up and that loving memories help you smile again."

This tribute was added by Anna Lovrien on 28th September 2015

"Dear Nick, Ben, and Lucy-
Thank you for this lovely tribute to Joan.  Your details told me much about her life that I did not know, and your photos demonstrate her warm personality.  I am keeping you all in my thoughts."

This tribute was added by Susan Pava on 27th September 2015

"I'm very sad to hear of Joan's passing. I remember her fondly as my parents, Arthur and Helen Pava were dear friends with both her and Charlie. She was a remarkable woman, and I will think of her fondly as I cook from one of the many recipes she shared with my mother. I can still hear her voice, her laughter, and see her smile. I feel blessed to have known her, and am very grateful for her friendship with my father long after my mother was gone. She was a special friend and a very special person. My condolences to Nick and William and their families."

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This memorial is administered by:

Lucy Lovrien


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