July 20, 1928 – September 7, 2019

Joan Diane Montaño Grant was born on July 20, 1928, in Los Angeles, Calif., and died September 7, 2019, in Newport Beach, Calif., after a short illness. She was a fourth-generation Californian who received her first poster award in the fourth grade. In High School, she earned several Gold Key awards and “placed” in the Nationals for sculpture from the Carnegie Institute of Art. At age 15, she was awarded a Scholarship to the Christian Von Schniedau School of Fine Arts where she studied six years of portrait and figure-drawing using pastels, charcoal and oil in the Old Master’s Technique. After High School graduation, Joan received a Scholarship to Pepperdine University, where she had a One Man Exhibition in her first Semester. After graduating with a Fine Arts degree, she attended Los Angeles Trade Technical School to study Technical Art. After earning a Credential for Technical Illustration from UCLA, she was a Staff Artist for California Vocational Education. She received Letters of Merit for Cartoon Training Aids from Headquarters Southwestern Signal Corps Training Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

During her years In Kern Valley Joan was known for her free portrait sketches of local veterans and her paintings of famous residents. She was commissioned by the Kern Valley Museum and Historical Society for the Bob Powers sculpture in front of the museum in Kernville. Her work was shown around the KRV throughout the years. She won many awards for her entries in the fine arts division at the Kern County Fair.

Joan led an amazing and eventful life. She worked in the aerospace industry for over 20 years as a graphic designer—this profession earned her the right to the title of “Rosie the Riveter” — women who worked in the aircraft industry since WWII. She loved to travel, go sailing, dancing, fishing, and she photographed, sketched, and painted her memories of those adventures. All who entered Joan’s house in the KRV immediately saw her favorite memories and people, skillfully rendered in oils, pastel or watercolor, hanging on the walls and stacked in every corner of her home. She never stopped creating and she freely passed on her knowledge, skill, encouragement and wisdom to anyone ready to learn.

Joan will be dearly missed by her loving family, her friends, and the community she called “home” for many years. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 1pm at the Kernville Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact Helen Worthen at, or call 818-399-1666.