In Memoriam: Joan Hamel Clement Goddard

Joan Hamel Clement Goddard 06/05/1937 - 09/26/2020

Early Saturday morning, September 26, 2020, Joan Goddard passed peacefully into the arms of our Lord, surrounded by her loving family.

Joan Roberta Hamel was born in a tiny coastal town in Massachusetts, June 5, 1937, to Dr. Paul R. and Adele Hamel. She spent her younger years living in Manchester, New Hampshire. The eldest of four, her family moved to the West Coast during WWII, as her father had volunteered with the Army of the Pacific. Joan thrived in California! She graduated from high school at 16, having surpassed her classmates early on and advancing two grades beyond them. (During grade school she won the State of New Hampshire Spelling B and enjoyed a trip to Washington, DC, with her family)

She married Richard Clement, from her hometown of Manchester, NH, in 1955 and raised six children in California. During her child-rearing years, she also worked part time. Combining her eight years of classical piano training and her competition-level spelling skills, she was an exceptional typist, clocking an astonishing 148 words per minute. When most of her six children were in grade school—before the typewriter was replaced by the keyboard—she became one of the first data entry processors in now what is known as “Silicon Valley.”

During the 1967 political season, Henry Cabot Lodge was running in the Republican primary against Richard M. Nixon. Joan’s husband had worked hard on his campaign and was invited to go to DC to be a part of the campaign run.  Joan, pregnant with their seventh child, and family piled into the station wagon, took a trip across America and made their home in McLean, VA, while they waited for their house in the new town of Reston to be completed. 

With the election of Nixon, politics took a back seat to raising her seven children, all whose names begin with “C” – Cathy, Corri, Chris, Craig, Celeste, Caresse and Camille. It was not uncommon for the Clements to sign their Christmas cards…Joan, Dick and the 7 C’s.

Joan and her family lived in the Reston and Herndon area until 1986.  She was a member of the St. Thomas A. Beckett church where she helped start the Mary Martha’s group, helped tirelessly with food and clothing drives, and taught CCD for many years. It was during this time that she made her lifelong gal-pals, Bebe, Helen, Libby, Jo and Carol. These ladies helped each other through all of life’s ups and downs and continue to be a source of spiritual support for each other’s children.

After parting ways with Richard in 1986, Joan became a student once again, attending Northern Virginia Community College, earning a degree and certificate in Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency Counseling. She went further, obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Trinity College in Washington, DC. At 58, she earned a Masters Degree of Social Work and met the requirements for designation as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She was also a Marriage and Family Therapist, her most fulfilling work being with couples at the McLean Bible Church, working alongside other Christian Counselors. Other beneficiaries of her kind and benevolent nature were the Women in Transitional Housing served by Fairfax County Social Services. 

While attending Trinity in the late 1980s, Joan “met” a Professor who had taught her a class in Chemical Dependency while she was at NOVA Community College. He was handsome and dashingly charming as any retired Navy Captain might be. He shared her spirituality, loved coffee as much as she did, and after many dates and the approval of their children (he had five), they were married and lived together in Manassas Park where she lent her feminine flair to his Bachelor Pad and created beautiful gardens in both the front and back yards.

Joan’s love for her family and all humanity stemmed from her spirituality, her love of God’s Word, and the belief that the Sacrifice of The Lord Jesus and His Saving power is for everyone. Even in her last years, when speaking seriously to her adult grandchildren or her children, she was very precise and would make clear didactic inquiry, and give inspired counsel always with the subtle intent of leading those she loved to the Lord. She loved to listen. It was her gift and legacy.

We know that Joan is rejoicing with friends and family in Heaven that have gone before her, specifically her sister, Judith Hamel (1967); her brother, Roger Hamel (2019),her loving husband, USN(R) Captain Thomas B. Goddard (2017); her first husband, Richard E. Clement (2005); and her grandson, USN Petty Officer Jonathan Richard Clement (2018).

Joan is survived by her brother and wife, Ronald and Sharon Hamel of Seal Beach, CA, and their two sons and families; her daughter and husband, Catherine and Paul Stuart of North Myrtle Beach, SC, and their four children and six grandchildren; her daughter and husband Corrine and Rick Daniele, of Fredericksburg, VA, and their seven children and 11 grandchildren; her son and wife, Christopher and Laura Clement of Vero Beach, FL, and their three children and two grandchildren; her son and wife, Craig and Rachel Clement of Stafford, VA, and their two children; her daughter and husband, Celeste and Bruce Weinstein of Leesburg, VA, and their two children; her daughter Caresse Clement of Warrenton, VA, and her three children; and her daughter and husband Camille and Jim Racer of Amissville, VA, and their two children.

Joan loved America with a fervent passion and supported the military with prayers and donations to various groups. Many of her children and grandchildren took up the responsibility to protect and defend our country. She will be interred at the Quantico National Cemetery with Tom, her husband, in a private ceremony on Monday, October 26, 2020.

We invite you to celebrate the life of our mother, sister and friend on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at Chapel Springs Church beginning at 9:30 am for a family visitation and service beginning at 10:00am.

Chapel Springs Church: 11500 New Life Way, Bristow, VA 20136.

(1) entry


My dear sister Joan....Living proof of God's creation of perfection!!

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