Joan Westall Burns

joan burns

June 1, 1935 ~ April 4, 2024

Born in: Asheville, NC
Resided in: Hendersonville, NC

Joan Westall Burns, a cherished wife, devoted mother, beloved grandmother, and treasured friend, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of April 4, 2024. Joan was surrounded by the love of her family as she embarked on her final journey.

Born into this world with a heart full of love on June 1, 1935 to the late Elbert Cephas Duckett and Annie Mae Hogan Duckett. She was also preceded in death by her sister Elaine Duckett Broyles. Joan dedicated her life to the values that mattered most to her: faith, family, and friendship. She leaves behind a legacy of warmth, kindness, and unwavering love that will be remembered and cherished by all who were fortunate enough to have known her.

Joan was the epitome of love and devotion, a wonderful wife to her husband, Garson Burns, who preceded her in death in 2021, and previously to James Westall, who passed away much before that, both having bravely battled cancer. She was a nurturing mother to her children James and Susan, and a doting Nana to her grandchildren Kellie, Maggie, and Tucker. Her great-grandchildren, Aspen and Cooper, were the light of her life, bringing her immeasurable joy and filling her heart with love.

Throughout her life, Joan brought people together with her exceptional cooking skills and her talent for entertaining. Her home was always filled with laughter, delicious aromas, and the warmth of her hospitality. With a keen fashion sense, Joan exuded elegance and grace in every aspect of her life.

Joan’s gratitude extended beyond measure to the medical community, Sunny Days, and Hospice who provided her with care and support throughout her journey. Their dedication and compassion eased her burdens and allowed her to focus on what mattered most – her faith and family.

Although Joan’s physical presence will be deeply missed, her spirit will live on in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing her. She has left an indelible mark on the lives of those she touched, and her memory will continue to inspire love, kindness, and gratitude for generations to come.

In honoring Joan’s life, let us celebrate the love she shared, the joy she brought, and the legacy of kindness she leaves behind. May she rest in eternal peace, knowing that her love will continue to shine brightly in the lives of those she cherished.

A Funeral Service to celebrate Joan’s life will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian. The family will receive friends one hour before the service at the funeral home. Burial will then follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Candler.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Four Seasons Hospice

Forever in our hearts, Joan Westall Burns will be dearly missed but never forgotten


Funeral Service: April 13, 2024 11:00 am

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Visitation: April 13, 2024 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704



Forest Lawn Memorial Park
1498 Sand Hill Rd.
Candler, NC 28715


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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Memories Timeline


  1. I know Joan is with Jesus! I’m so grateful and honored to have been her friend for many years. Our lunches and long talks will never be forgotten. She was beautiful inside and out!! Her love was genuine. Those of us left behind will cherish her memory and look forward to seeing her again. I’ll always love Joan Westall-Burns.

  2. A beautiful Christian who I knew at Asheville Christian Women’s club many years ago. She will be missed.

  3. I had the privilege of being Miss Joan caregiver/ companion. We had countless hours of conversations about family and fy, but most important her relationship with Jesus. She was a wonderful Christian woman who loved her children, grandchildren and her great grandchildren and friends with all her heart. I will miss her all the days of my life. May she finally Rest in Peace.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss, I remember Joan always being dressed to the nines! She was a beautiful lady.
    Praying for your family, Christi Waddell Bryant

  5. Susan, I was sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. She was always very friendly and kind. I still remember her tuna salad sandwiches on the special rolls from years ago. I will keep your family in my prayers.

    • Kellie, please accept our deepest sympathies and condolences as you grieve the loss of your grandmother. Our prayer is that you find comfort and peace in the memories you shared. We are sending healing thoughts and prayers to you and your entire family during this difficult time of mourning. Joan, Sandi & Isaac.

  6. My sincere sympathy to Joan’s dear family. I knew her as a friend in Asheville and more recently as a close neighbor in our retirement village. I will always remember Joan for her strong Christian faith, her love of family and friends and her beautiful smile. I will miss her but we know she is with Jesus and now free of pain.

  7. Miss Joan will be greatly missed. I came to know her as she come weekly for her shampoo set. Always kind with her words. She could definitely be the picture for a Fine Southern Lady. She was loved and will be Missed.

  8. Joan was a lovely person. She was so good to our family when brother Eddie, married to Lynn Robinson, passed away. Your family is in our prayers.

  9. The Stechschulte family sends their condolences to Susan and James. We have so many memories of our time shared together. Our family sends prayers and hugs to your family

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