Joan Hastings

Obituary of Joan Hastings

Joan Hastings of Burlington, originally from Chelsea, died peacefully at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House in Reading on Friday, January 12 after a brief illness.  She was 87.


Joan graduated from the Saint Rose School in Chelsea before attending Boston University.  After college, Joan became a business manager at Arthur D. Little Corporation, a research company in Cambridge, where she worked for almost 40 years. Joan was one of the first female managers at ADL and paved the way for many others until the day the company closed more than 50 years later.  At ADL, Joan met her husband of 60 years, Ed, who worked at the company for nearly five decades.  The couple moved to Burlington in 1964 and raised their two boys in Burlington schools.


After retiring from ADL, Joan and Ed worked tirelessly at their son John’s campground in Lebanon, Maine, Flat Rock Bridge Family Resort. There, Joan had many roles but mostly ran the facility’s craft shop where she was a popular, smiling face for many years to both youth and adults looking to paint or make crafts. Joan often called her days at the craft shop her “best job ever” despite her insistence on being a volunteer. 


Joan was active in town politics for many years. She was a founding member of Burlington’s Town Meeting in 1972 and in 2022 became Burlington’s first-ever 50-year member of town meeting. She was also on the Ways and Means Committee, serving as chairman for a period of time.  Joan enjoyed volunteering. For many years, she and her husband “worked the polls” at the local and national elections hosted at Burlington High School. They would often start at 6 a.m. and not return home until after 8pm.


Joan also helped during blood drives held in Burlington, checking in donors.  Joan enjoyed playing piano, candlepin bowling and was an avid walker at Horn Pond in Woburn, Wildwood Park in Burlington and Revere Beach with her family and, of course, her dog Rusty. The Revere Beach trips were often highlighted by mandatory visits to Kelly’s Roast Beef.

Joan’s hidden talent was sneaking food to Rusty during meals, making her Rusty’s clear-cut favorite.


Joan was an avid sports fan, cheering for her favorite player, Tedy Bruschi, and New England Patriots for many years as well as the Boston University hockey team. Her favorite TV celebrities were Judge Judy and Jerry Seinfeld.  Joan will be remembered for her caring personality, her welcoming smile and her compassion.


Joan is survived by Ed, her son John and his wife Mary of Lyman, Maine and her son Douglas, of Burlington.  Joan has two grandchildren, Alex of Lyman, Maine, and Bailee, who lives in Hawaii with her husband Tyler.  Joan also has a great granddaughter, Piper, who she was able to meet in person.


Services will be private and a celebration of life for Joan will be planned for the spring.


In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to contribute to an annual scholarship fund that will be started in Joan’s name for a female student-athlete in Burlington each year. For more information on how to contribute to the scholarship, email Doug Hastings at



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