There is no one more committed to Lavaca than Joan Carabin. She has been living in the neighborhood with her husband Bob since 1993, first on Lavaca Street and now on Callaghan Avenue.
Joan grew up in Rochester, New York and joined the Victory Noll Missionary Sisters in 1955. She did her training in Huntington, Indiana, and served in numerous cities across the United States, including Detroit, Los Angeles, Montclair, San Antonio, Eagle Pass, and Brownsville. She served as a Catechist, teacher, Campus Minister, and with the Texas Department of Public Welfare. In January of 1974 — after almost 20 years of service — Joan requested and received an honorable discharge from her vows. In December of that year, she and Bob were married.
She has kept busy since! She received a Master’s Degree from The University of the Incarnate Word and a Doctoral Degree from Texas A&M. She administered programs in adult education for UTSA and Alamo Community Colleges. She earned a Social Work license and worked as the Executive Director of the Victoria Hospice of South Texas and in a nursing home. She taught literature and writing at Palo Alto College and San Antonio College, and English as a second language at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland AFB.
Joan has also focused on the well-being and nurturing of children. After retiring from the Alamo colleges, she became a Court Appointed Child Advocate for abused, neglected and abandoned children. She is currently writing a book dedicated to these children: Honorable Hippo: One of a Kind Judge.*
Joan is also actively involved with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and serves on the New Comers Committee. She participated in Habitat for Humanity on the diocesan level for 10 years. The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas was the first diocese in the world to enter a covenant agreement with Habitat for Humanity, and Joan was a signatory to that agreement.
Even with her busy career, church activities and volunteer work, Joan has always found time for Lavaca. She served as Secretary of the Lavaca Neighborhood Association from 2004 to 2006, as President from 2006 to 2008, and as President Emeritus from 2008 to 2010. She coordinated the Lavaca section of the annual King William yard sale from 2004 to 2010.
Joan spends relaxation time with Bob, tending to the lovely gardens surrounding their home, traveling (in recent years they’ve visited California, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Oklahoma), and spending time with neighbors. She is a ‘regular’ at the weekly happy hour at La Frite, and she is always ready to welcome friends — both new and old — with open arms and an open heart.