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Joan Dan

September 05, 2013

Joan Dan, 82; The Balboa Bay Mermaid

Joan Dan, a native of Newport Beach, passed away on Sunday, September 1st, 2013.  Often in the paper for her swimming accomplishments, Joan was Newport Beach’s “Bathing Beauty” and the city’s version of Esther Williams.  She was raised on Balboa Island, living in over 21 homes, because her father, Marion Dodd, worked in real estate.  When Joan wasn’t swimming, paddle boarding, or at the beach with friends she was working at her father’s other business; Dodd’s Malt Shop (also on Balboa Island). 

Before Newport Harbor HS had its own swimming pool, Joan’s swim team would practice in the bay, swimming island to island.  During her illustrious swim career she was photographed for LIFE Magazine.  The magazine featured Joan at the beach laughing and frolicking with seaweed in her hair--a real mermaid and a true swim star. 

Over the years Joan earned over forty-five swim medals and served as an alternate at the Olympics.  Marrying her high school sweetheart, Bogie Horrell, they raised three children; Deborah, Lori, and Robert.  She divorced and married Ivan “Danny” Dan in 1971, and they have been happily married for the last 42 years.  Danny and Joan loved traveling whether it was a cruise ship or their travel trailer.  In addition, Joan enjoyed gambling at casinos, but her favorite place to be was in Hawaii. 

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Besides being a beloved wife and mother, Joan Dan was considered the “best grandma” by her grandchildren Ryan, Robby, Emily, Kelsi and Karli.  Joan was very involved and loving to her family and spent as much time as she could with her grandchildren.  Granddaughter Emily Horrell said, “My Grandma has been an inspiration and role model, as well as a best friend.  She was an amazing lady and the kindest woman I have ever known.” 

A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 7th, 10 am, at the Halecrest Clubhouse, 3107 Killybrooke Ln. in Costa Mesa. 

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