Joan Basnar

TUCSON, Ariz. — Joan Marion Chandler Basnar, age 82, passed away on April 21, 2021, in Tucson, Arizona, from a pulmonary embolism.

A 25-year resident of Sierra Vista, Arizona, Joan was born in Biddeford, Maine, to Doric and Annabelle (Clark) Chandler. Joan grew up in Old Orchard Beach and Ocean Park, Maine, through her elementary school years. In 1956, she and her high school classmate and sweetheart, Lee C. Basnar, graduated from Lyndon Institute in Vermont. The two married that summer and a few years later had a daughter, Lorraine.

Joan worked in the accounts payable department at Lyndonville Savings Bank and later worked as a bookkeeper at an insurance company in Maine.

After Lee joined the U.S. Army, Joan became an active volunteer at each posting during Lee’s military career. She served with the Girl Scouts, the Officers’ Wives Club, and Army Community Service. The Basnars were a well-traveled military family, living in France and numerous U.S. states, and they visited Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.

In 1981, when Lee retired from the military, Joan retired from the Ft. Richardson Central Accounting Office near Anchorage, Alaska. Together they moved to a remote cabin they built about 25 miles south of Cantwell, Alaska. They enjoyed that rugged lifestyle for 16 years, operating a small woodworking business, Loon Country Creations. In 1996, they moved to Sierra Vista, near Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, where Lee had previously been stationed.

Joan became an active participant and volunteer in TOPS Club, Inc., an organization that supports weight loss and healthy lifestyles. Joan was a people person who truly enjoyed meeting and greeting folks, presenting programs at TOPS meetings, and walking many miles with her TOPS pals.

She is survived by: her husband, Lee; daughter, Lorraine Basnar Elder; sister, Martha Chandler McLay; nephews, Russell Winslow and Jason McLay; niece, Diane Winslow Gramatikas; and many cousins in the Clark family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister-in-law, Pauline Winslow.

At Joan’s request, no memorial service will be held. Friends and family may make donations in her memory to Lyndon Institute, Lyndon Center, Vermont (, or to the Ocean Park Association, Ocean Park, Maine (

filed under: