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Joan Olds
May 10, 2024


SOUTH PORTLAND/HOLLIS- Joan A. Olds, age 95, passed peacefully at her son David’s home in Hollis, Maine on May 10, 2024. She was surrounded by her loved ones for days, both physically and spiritually. We knew she was aware of everyone's love by the little squeeze of her hand or change in her breathing when she was spoken to. We will miss her so much, but at least she is with her husband Thurston now, who was the love of her life.
Joan was born in London, England on November 3, 1928. She was the daughter of Ada and John Knight. She was a young teenager in London during World War II and shared stories of how her family was affected. There were also fun times to speak of, such as when she had her job as an usherette at a local theater where she would also sing on stage. Joan also joined the Girls Naval Training Corp. She was a living history book of the Battle of Briton, bombing of London, and of taking cover in the subways.

She was 14 when she met Thurston in a park near the air raid shelters. He was one of the American “Yanks” that had come to London during World War II, prior to the D Day invasion. It was love at first sight and they got to know each other until Thurston left for the June 6, 1944 landing on Utah Beach. Later, he was able to take a 10-day leave to spend with Joan and her family back in England. Their love grew until Thurston left the war after he helped liberate Dachau.

After the war, Thurston sent for her and they were married in South Portland, Maine on September 26, 1946. They raised her two sons, John and David in the house where she lived from 1947 until she became ill in July 2023. She took great pride in her homemaking. She always spoke fondly of special times she had when various family members came to stay with her or when she babysat nieces and nephews. She was heartbroken by Thurton’s death in 2000.

Joan was lucky to have a large extended family here in the United States. They enjoyed camping and family get-togethers. She also returned to England as much as possible. A memorable trip was her first trip back, when they traveled on the Queen Mary, with her sons in 1954. She spent a month with her family in England at that time.

She will be missed by her sons and their families. We will all miss her lovely stories and hugs and kisses and cups of tea.

Joan was preceded by parents, John and Ada Knight, husband Thurston, sisters Sheila and Margie and brother Bert.

She is survived by sons John Olds and his wife Deborah (Cobb) Olds and David Olds and his wife Nancy (McGill). Surviving grandchildren include Heather (Olds) Gray, Wiliam Olds, Melissa (Olds) Sears and Daniel Olds. Great-grandchildren include Emma Sears, Elyse Sears, Carson Sears, Sean Gray and Lindsay Gray

A graveside service will be held on Saturday June 22 at 11 AM at South Buxton Cemetery, Woodman (New) Section at the Columbarium.

Online condolence messages can be submitted at the Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service website,

Arrangements have been entrusted to Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service, Buxton,

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Chad E. Poitras Cremation & Funeral Service
498 Long Plains Road
Buxton, ME 04093