Cover photo for Joan Jardine (Smith) Dobrzynski's Obituary
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1945 Joan 2024

Joan Jardine (Smith) Dobrzynski

July 22, 1945 — January 15, 2024

Denver

Joan Jardine Smith passed away peacefully at her home on January 15, 2024 after a long and courageous battle with leukemia. 

Joan, an avid Colorado Rapids “Super Fan” and active C-38 member, was loved by many. Her boundless kindness, generosity, and love will be sorely missed. “Aunt Joan” as she was commonly referred as; never missed a Rapids practice or game and was also a lover of nature, mountains and her church choir. There was always an extra seat (or the piano bench) at Joan’s Thanksgiving dinner and a stocking for everyone on Christmas morning. She happily welcomed anyone to celebrate with her and her family, even cooking a ‘first’ Thanksgiving dinner for many new acquaintances in Australia. 

 Joan was born on July 22, 1945 to John Smith and Mary (Creed) Smith of Hamilton Township, New Jersey.  After graduating high school Joan attended Muskingum University and started as a School Teacher in Byers, Colorado. After a short time as a school teacher, Joan switched careers and began working in customer service at Mountain Bell.  Joan’s tenacity, smarts and can-do attitude were recognised and she was promoted to the position of computer programmer. Joan had a natural talent for computer programming and deeply enjoyed problem solving with her coworkers.

Throughout her life, Joan enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and Australia. She was enamored by the lupin in Iceland, the beauty of Independence pass, the dramatic mountains in Switzerland, and the Jacaranda trees in Australia. One of her fondest memories was traveling across the US from New Jersey to San Francisco in her VW beetle, not long after finishing University. She lived a few streets away from Fisherman’s Wharf until she was down to her last penny, and then headed to Colorado for her next adventure. She never passed up on an opportunity to drive throughout the US and was always enthusiastic about a good map. She even relocated, via car, to Eagle River, Alaska where she lived with her then husband, Eugene Dobrzynski and daughter, Christina.  

Joan was preceded in death by her parents John and Mary, her sister Carol Austin-Ollom (Smith), her nephew Michael Austin, her close confidant and Pastor Carlisle Spohr, and her best friend Freckles. 

 Joan is succeeded in death by her daughter Christina (Emma) Dobrzynski, brother James Smith; nieces Susan (Juan Sanchez) Austin, Kathryn (Nicholas) Walsh; nephews Jes Smith, Jake (Sarah) Austin, James (Jaclyn) Smith, Ross (Brianne) Ollom; and grand nieces Zoey and Charlotte Austin and grand nephews Jackson Smith and Ian Mullin. 

 In lieu of flowers the family asks you to donate blood through your local donor center. During Joan’s battle with AML, many blood and plasma transfusions were required. Joan was very honored and grateful to the people that donated and would have appreciated her loved ones paying this forward. If you would prefer to donate money in lieu of blood, some charities the Dobrzynski’s support are the World Wildlife Fund, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Doctors without Borders, Save the Children, and Sacred Heart House of Denver.   

 A celebration of life will be held during the Colorado Rapids Season in Denver Colorado. Please feel free to reach out to the family if you’d like to know more about her celebration of life.

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