Mother of Joan Baez dies at 100


Woodside resident Joan Chandos Baez, the mother of famed folk singer and Woodside resident Joan Baez, died at home on Saturday, April 20, just a few days after her 100th birthday, her daughter Joan said in a posting at

Some 50 friends and family members had gathered at the Baez home to celebrate Baez Sr.'s birthday a week earlier, the posting said. There were balloons and spring flowers and singing, of course, with an audience that included chickens and oak trees and the denizens of the creek down the hill.

Joan Bridge was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, and met her husband Albert Baez at a high school dance after the Bridge family moved to Madison, New Jersey, according to The couple had three children: Pauline, Joan and Mimi (Farina).

Among the highlights of their lives together, reported that the "two Joans" were arrested after helping to block a doorway into a U. S. Air Force induction center in Oakland in October 1967, a time when American involvement in the Vietnam War was escalating.

The web posting includes a message, "When I Join the Heavenly Band," said to be composed by Baez Sr.

"Friends who want to celebrate my new adventure, please gather round. Don't grieve, for it's only a worn out body that's leaving and the memory of any sad times goes with it. The good memories are in my spirit and my spirit is with you today. I'm in your midst, for there's nothing more valuable to me than to be with you, my beloved family and my gracious friends.

"Take a moment for silence and wish me well. I'll hear you. Then make the bottles pop. You know I love champagne almost as much as I love you!"

"Big Joan"

— Dave Boyce

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6 people like this
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:16 am

Had the good fortune to meet her many, many years ago at an event put on by daughter Mimi which included a performance by daughter Joan.

Truly a lovely lady... best wishes to the family.

6 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

What a lovely woman! She looks like a real live wire--a renaissance woman-- that look in her eyes! A little bit of joy,a little bit of "your not gong to push me around", and that slightly mischievous look just around the edges.

The sweet life-the joy, the sorrow, the bliss and pain--all of so slow, and simply a blur from afar, like to so many rapids it roars--then,, floating gently down the stream...surrounded by...light...

6 people like this
Posted by Denise
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:49 am

So sorry for your loss

6 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

Joan Sr and I took writing classes together for several years. She often commented privately to me about my memoirs, telling me similar tales of her own family. We also regularly ran into each other at the Cambridge post office when we both lived in that area, as well as through Joan Jr's organization where I volunteered.

I am thrilled to hear she made her 100th birthday, and sad to hear she is gone.

Rest in peace.

Like this comment
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm

BTW, Dave Boyce, the article you quoted said there were 150 people at her party, not 50.

2 people like this
Posted by Social Butterfly
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 28, 2013 at 4:12 am

Her spirit danced around you in your meeting her...RIP sweet lady~

You will be missed here...

1 person likes this
Posted by Gabriel C Banda
a resident of another community
on Dec 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Sorry, I just came to the news of the transition late. Mama Joan Chandos Baez Senior contributed in large measure to the world and us, through various things, amongst them inspiring some songs Joan Baez did. Through Joan Baez Jr, and as her team mate, Joan Senior's Life goes on, reaching us, near and far, and into other generations. Thanks for her Life. Thanks for Joan Baez. Thanks for touching our lives. Let the memories of her good deeds heal and nourish us. Thank You. Gabriel, Lusaka, Zambia

3 people like this
Posted by David R. Henderson
a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2015 at 7:38 am

I met Joan once, at the home of Kay Boyle in San Francisco, in about April 1980. She, Kay, and the woman I was dating at the time, Victoria Varga, were just finishing a letter-writing meeting for Amnesty International. At the time, President Carter had decided to let in the people who were escaping from Cuba. Many right wingers had attacked him for letting in criminals, and Joan and I decried that. I pointed out that Ronald Reagan, then running for the Republican nomination and in the lead, had refused to attack Carter. His line was, if I recall correctly, “When people are jumping out of a burning building, you don’t insist on seeing their IDs before you save them.” Joan hadn’t heard that line. We both liked it.

2 people like this
Posted by Charles Wibel
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2016 at 6:57 am

Late to this article but feel the need to share - Joan Bridge Baez was my mother's maid of honor at my mother's wedding in Mountain Lakes, NJ. They had been school chums at the then names St John's School in Mountain Lakes. Joan jr. was in attendance at my 2nd birthday party. Who knew!

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