DELORIS AND I met Ian and Joan decades ago and have enjoyed their friendship. The four of us have spent vacations together and also with them here in the United States. There were times when we would “pop over” to the Isle of Wight, unannounced and surprise the Caws. Their home was like our home away from home and ‘visa versa.’  We visited England perhaps fifty or more times and the Isle of Wight was usually on the travel route.

Checkers, or Draughts as the English call it, was not the only thing we had in common.  The Caws, like us, were Christians and we enjoyed discussing religions doctrine.  We attended church services with them also.  Joan was the Women’s World Champion but she was an English Lady who enjoyed preparing English meals and hearing the American reaction to them with the typical Southern drawl from Deloris and me.

In my estimation, Joan Caws was the Lady who opened the door for women in the world of checkers.  Looking back it would be difficult to find a woman who had a bigger influence on promoting checkers for women than Joan.  Ian and I were fortunate to have wives who supported the game.  Joan enjoyed playing and Deloris’ father was a checker enthusiast who taught me checker strategy.  She accepted my checker friends as family and as the story states … “We lived happily ever after.”

Joan will be missed, but never forgotten.  Many times when she was playing checkers with me she would say, “Crown me Charlie.”  However since Joan has been promoted to the King’s Row in Heaven, she will not need to say it again, because, “the Lord has “Crowned Joan” with Eternal life!”  Enjoy it Joan, you deserve it! Looking forward to seeing you again. Don’t be surprised if I pop in unannounced!




Joan was truly a proper English Lady.  She was friendly, hospitable, helpful, and loved her family and friends.  In the Dollywood experience, Joel (grandson) and Paula, his mother, among many others, traveled with us to Dollywood.  That was an experience!  Joel was excited about everything – and Ian and Joan enjoyed having him and his mom with them.  I remember that they really enjoyed the trips to Walmart!

There were many times we traveled together – to Scotland – to Italy – to Ireland - to their mainland and we saw a lot of things – they pointed out interesting places along the way.  We enjoyed many outings – picnics on the grassy hills; the “haunted forest” on the Isle of Wight; the English tournaments around the area, and many other interesting historical sights around London and the countryside.

Once we went over to England – rented a car and went down to Portsmouth to the ferry and over to the Isle of Wight.  We didn’t call or notify the Caws – checked into our hotel and then went over to the Caws’ home with the intention of inviting them out to dinner but they were not at home – they did arrive and we learned that Ian’s mother had passed away.  We did take them to dinner and remained in Ryde for several days, during which time we attended the funeral services for his mother, and got snowed in (yes, on the Isle of Wight!).

Joan was an excellent hostess – she was a wonderful cook and we ate many meals with them (Charles especially liked the lamb) at their home and around the countryside. We had tea and biscuits with them; ate apples from their trees in the garden, just to name a few of our visits together.

To the family and friends of Joan, I pray you will be comforted during this time and that you will all look to the day when you shall be together again.  Heaven is a glorious eternal place of joy.


Deloris Walker

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