Cover photo for Joan Nielson Behunin's Obituary
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1938 Joan Nielson Behunin 2023

Joan Nielson Behunin

September 25, 1938 — December 23, 2023


Joan Nielson Behunin passed away peacefully from her earthly home on Saturday, December 23, 2023, at the age of 85 in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

Joan was the eldest of three children, daughter of Niels Boyd Nielson and Thelma Malstrom Nielson she was born on September 25, 1938 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She grew up in Holladay.  Joan attended Olympus High School the first year it opened, she was active in many clubs and social groups and made lifelong friends.  During high school, she worked at ZCMI in Salt Lake City.

While in high school, Joan met Alan Behunin at a dance He was a freshman at the University of Utah.  Following Alan’s mission to Brazil, they were married in the Salt Lake City temple. 

The Behunin family lived in the Salt Lake Valley until the summer of 1970 when they moved to Pennsylvania where Alan worked as manager of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Their family also lived in Hockessin, Delaware; Duxbury, Massachusetts; Sandy and Riverton, Utah.   Joan & Alan also spent 10 months living in Riyad, Saudi Arabia in the 1980’s which was an exciting experience for them. Joan lived the last 16 months of her life near family in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

Joan was a wonderful homemaker.  She loved having a beautiful and clean home and 

she made holidays and special occasions lovely and memorable.   She loved music and always wanted to learn to play the harp.  After her children were grown, she acquired a harp and began taking lessons giving herself and others great joy. 

For many years Joan enjoyed working in the Lion House office scheduling events. Joan cherished the time she spent volunteering at the Riverton Elementary school helping children learn to read. She loved the gospel and serving in the church. One of the things that brought her the most joy were the years she spent as an ordinance worker in the Jordan River Temple. 

Joan is survived by her brother, Doug (Julia) Nielson, Utah; sister Susan (Randy) Lindburg, Utah; children Melanie (Martin) Low, Pennsylvania; Linda (Jeff) Grondel, Pocatello, ID; Michael N. Behunin, California; David (Aubrey) N. Behunin, Pennsylvania; 17 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy Alan Behunin.

Funeral services will be held at the Valley Forge First Ward chapel at 2530 Stinson Lane, Norristown, Pennsylvania on Saturday, December, 30, 2023.  The viewing will begin at 9 am with services beginning at 10 am.  Interment will take place at Holladay Memorial Cemetery, 4900 South Memory Lane, Holladay, Utah 84117.

The family would like to express great appreciation for Grane Hospice Care and Providence Place Senior Living for their loving care for Joan.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Nielson Behunin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 5, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Memorial Holladay Cemetery

4900 S Memory Ln, Holladay, UT 84117

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, December 30, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, December 30, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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