January 2, 2019
Joan O'Mara and her husband Kevin moved to Seattle just over a year ago from Connecticut after 50 years in the same home to be near their son John, his wife Tsion and their two children, 19 months and 2 months. Now, much of their time is happily centered around their grandchildren.
Born in Connecticut, Joan lived there her whole life. She spent her undergraduate years at Mount Holyoke College (BA) in Massachusetts and completed her graduate work (PhD in Romance Languages) at the University of Arizona.
Joan began a 25-year teaching career at the University of Bridgeport in 1968, where she taught Spanish, English as a second language and Communication Studies. She then taught communication, theater appreciation and a course about the Caribbean region at the University of Hartford,
They are enjoying life in Seattle. “We spend time with our grandchildren, explore parks with granddaughter Maya and take her to the library. I attend classes at the YMCA to keep in shape. Exploring Seattle and Washington, going to the opera and theater, traveling and reading keep us busy,” she says. "Living in the Central District works well. What I like most is being a 5-minute walk from my son and his family. I also like being able to walk to stores, restaurants and doctors, and accessibility to public transportation.”
Attending and participating in church activities have always been important to Joan. She attended a congregational (now UCC) church for most of her life. As a child, her father took her to the historic Center Church in Hartford. As an adult, she joined Monroe Congregational Church, a mid-sized, suburban church. She also attended St. George Armenian Church in Hartford; her maternal grandparents were instrumental in the founding of St. George. “My grandmother would take me to learn about my Armenian heritage,” she adds.
Why Plymouth? “I looked up UCC churches online. After exploring several websites, I decided to visit Plymouth. I found everything I was seeking—excellent preaching, wonderful music, a strong social commitment, opportunities for spiritual growth and a vibrant and friendly congregation.” – Janice Randall