Obituary: Joan Shulman

Joan Shulman of Cos Cob passed away on Monday, July 27, at the age of 66. She died peacefully, surrounded by her husband, John, and children, Adam and Alaina.

Joan was taken from us without warning. Events like this never make sense, but we take some solace in knowing that she was enjoying life to its fullest.

Joan was born and raised in Wooster, Ohio. She migrated to California where she met John on a blind date. John and Joan moved to Connecticut in 1984, settling in Cos Cob a year later to raise their family.

She made the world a better place in many ways. As a nurse, she worked on one of the first primary nursing floors in the country, cared for some of the earliest AIDS patients, and devoted many years to hospice work. Most recently, she built a highly respected home medical care organization in Stamford. Joan had just retired at the end of 2014 and was busy with many projects, including pottery, gardening, feeding the wildlife in our backyard, and collecting shells on the beach.

Above all, Joan was the center of our family. We all happily revolved around her in one way or another. In addition to John, Adam and Alaina, Joan is survived by her brother, Stephen Brenneman, her nieces and nephews, Cari Koukidis, April Settembrine, Staff Sgt. Kurt Brenneman of the U.S. Marines, Jamie Banker and Joshua Shulman, and her great nieces and nephews, Yanni, Kosta, Mia, Nicholas, Benjamin, Elyssa and Sydney.  Joan was also extremely close with John’s family—his father, Harvey, and mother, Florence (deceased), brothers, Bob and Tom, and sister-in-law, Phyllis—and Adam’s fiancée, Julie Grimes.

The Shulman family held informal visiting hours from 2-6 p.m. on Aug. 15, at 32 Mimosa Drive, Cos Cob, where friends are invited to share fond memories and stories to celebrate Joan’s life.

Joan had plans to volunteer again for hospice and to help abused women through the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Stamford. She had also hoped to travel to Africa to volunteer her nursing skills through the 14 Plus Foundation, which operates the Chipakata Children’s Academy in Zambia. In lieu of flowers or gift baskets, donations can be made in Joan’s memory to either of these organizations. To make a donation, please visit

—The Shulman Family

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