Joan Kulm
(1936 - 2018)

Joan Kulm

New York , United States of America
May 22, 1936

Idaho , United States of America
February 24, 2018

Joan was multi-talented, smart, and intuitive. She played the piano as well as accordion, trumpet, violin, and organ. She was a competitive swimmer and danced ballet, tap, and clogging. She rode hunter-jumper and dressage. She loved Broadway shows, travel, shopping, and new adventures. She spoke Russian, German, and French.

Joan was born in Brooklyn, NY, the only child of John and Angela (McGrath) Lambert. After moving with her family to Long Island, Joan graduated from Adelphi University and worked for an advertising company in New York City. She then studied at Columbia University and graduated with a Master's degree in Economics along with a certificate from the Russian Institute. Joan moved to Washington, DC to work as an analyst for the CIA specializing in Soviet oil trade, which led to being closely involved in the Cuba missile crisis. Later, Joan returned to New York as Programming director at Radio Liberty, broadcasting news to the Soviet Union.

In 1966, Joan received a scholarship from the Ford Foundation for a Master's degree in Education at Cornell University where she met Jerry who had received a National Science Foundation scholarship for a Master's in Mathematics Teaching. It was love at first sight. She accepted Jerry's proposal in October and they were married June 10, 1967 in Long Island, NY.

Jerry took a position as a high school math teacher in Chappaqua, NY and soon, with Joan's insistence, encouragement and support, began work toward a Doctorate at Columbia University. Steve arrived and Joan doted on him, as did grandma and grandpa Lambert. After two years, they moved to the city so Jerry could do full time graduate work. Joan was able to return part-time to Radio Liberty. Two years later, Jerry graduated and accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Purdue University.

In Indiana, Joan developed her life-long love of horses and every other four-footed and two-footed animal. She learned to ride and helped build our first "mini-farm" with the dream of riding, raising, racing, and selling Thoroughbred horses. She volunteered at animal shelters and equine therapy programs. As Jerry moved to university positions In Kentucky, Washington, DC, Montana, and Texas, Joan continued her activities with animals, dancing, and music.

Joan traveled with Jerry to nearly every state, often for his research conferences or to visit Steve in Germany or Hawaii. She also spent a month in Moscow, working for the US Information Agency. Two of the last memorable trips were a 2-week cruise to Hawaii and a 10-day trip to China guided by Jerry's graduate students.

Joan and Jerry celebrated their 50th anniversary on June 10, 2017. Every year together was an adventure.

Joan is survived by her husband Gerald, son Steven John Kulm, son-in-law Allen Cookson, and grandchildren Ian Kulm-Cookson and Elliott Kulm-Cookson.

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

Hover your mouse over the wall images to see each guest book entry.

Guest Book (4 entries)
The first time I met Joan was when I attended Joan & Jerry's wedding. I was curious to see the type of girl who had captured my brother's heart. Joan was the perfect mix of elegance and playfulness. Their relationship of city girl and country boy embraced the best of both worlds, from bluegrass to broadway and everything in between. It was fun hearing about all of their travels and interests. I was able to visit them in Texas when I traveled with Mom to watch their horse race. We had a great visit and were treated to a piano recital by Joan, one of her many talents. I was hopeful that I would be able to get to know Joan better when they moved to Idaho but it wasn't to be. "When someone you love becomes a memory. . . that memory becomes a treasure". You are one of my treasures.
Marilyn Large (Sister)
March 6th, 2018
I'm pretty sure it was the first time that Kathy and I met Joan when they came out west to visit relatives. We invited them to come picnic with us in Garden Valley,where Kathy's parents lived. We drove up to find a picnic spot that was "off the main roads" and fairly far from anything. The "deeper" into the forest we went,the more worried Joan became that we were lost!Joan became convinced that we were totally lost and would never see civilization again!Since Joan was a "city" girl,I'm sure that had something to do with her fear,since she had probably never been that far off the beaten path on an old dirt road!We made it home safely ,and enjoyed our time with Jerry and Joan.
Ron Kulm (Brother)
March 6th, 2018
We first met Joan upon returning from assignment in Germany. We were quite nervous at first because we'd heard of her accomplishments, education and being from the "east coast". But, being newly weds, as well, she had a lot in common with Susie, and we had a great visit. That was the beginning of many visits (though far between) over the next fifty years. They came to see us in Kansas. We went to see them in Indiana. They came to see us in Alabama and Kentucky. We got together in Montana, and Idaho. Our kids got along famously. They came to Las Vegas for Susie's funeral. A few years later, they came to Las Vegas to attend Dawn and my wedding. Joan was always brave, yet reserved to join the "Kulm clan" at gatherings. Once, in Las Vegas, I think she stepped out of her comfort zone, and we went to the local casino. We sat at a Blackjack table together, and I taught her how to play. We had so much fun and laughed a lot! And, she won $75! Jerry, the math professor, sitting next to us, lost! She would have been too kind to give him a hard time about that. We enjoyed Joan's company, and I think her feelings were mutual, as she always sought us out at family gatherings which we attended together. And, they took time out of their schedule to visit us here in the canyon. We will miss Joan and it will be hard not to say "Jerry and Joan". God bless you guys.
Keith Kulm (Brother)
March 6th, 2018
This is the memorial I set up for Joan Kulm . To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Gerald Kulm
March 1st, 2018
Your Contact Details

Remember to proofread. Once submitted, you will not be able to edit.

Select an icon to go along with your message.
Standard Icon - Default (Free)

Premium Icons - Optional ($5 each)

Adding a premium icon to the memorial helps make your comment standout. You can mark a birthday, leave a flower, or just show the family or friends of the person you are thinking of them. iLasting uses the revenue generated from these icons to continually update the site.



"Yesterday I donated your clothes to ReStyle Thrift Store. All of their proceeds help to feed and take care of pets if owners can’t. Bubba and I miss you so much, Sweetie 😿"
Jerry Kulm
March 15th, 2018
"Hi Mommy, I thought of you today after a top pilot complimented me on my "special way," and how I handled a bad situation with teamwork and grace. That's a testament to you -- we're two of a kind. And she and the airplane originated in BOI! 💕 "
Steven Kulm
March 15th, 2018
""The song is ended but the melody lingers on.." Irving Berlin"
Marilyn Large
March 6th, 2018
"I brought you home today, Honey. Rest In Peace now. 💕"
Jerry Kulm
March 5th, 2018
"It’s been a week to the day Mommy. Memories of us are flooding my mind 24/7. The Mother-Son bond we share will live on forever. You'd want me to be happy, so I smile big for you and light a candle in this moment. Missing you so hard it hurts...S."
Steve Kulm
March 3rd, 2018
"I love and miss you so much Sweetie. ❤️"
Gerald Kulm
March 1st, 2018


You have 250 characters left.

Share With Family & Friends


to multiple people.

Get Updates

Add your email below to be notified when visitors post to this memorial.

Share this memorial with people by sending them this link: