Kentucky born Joan Williams, moved to Cincinnati, Ohio as a young girl after the death of her mother. The effects of WWII had a great influence in her life as, “it just made life more serious.” She found a book on Teresa of Avila in her boarding school library, and from that time on, she knew she would become a Carmelite contemplative nun. Sr. Joan entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Resurrection in Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of 17 in 1945. She celebrated her 90th birthday and 72nd year in the Order September of 2017. Her talents were literary in nature. She was editor of an international Carmelite journal, Encounter, authored a biography, Growing Free: A Carmelite Remembers: Joan Williams (1988), and hosted a popular online blog in Reno. Sister Joan passed away in December of 2017 just five months after this interview.
Sisters Joan Williams and Michael Fox of the Carmelite Monastery in Reno, NV were interviewed by Patti Bernard of the Nevada Women’s History Project as part of a John Ben Snow Memorial Trust grant on June 3, 2017.