Moser Funeral Home Inc.

Joan Semple Obituary

Joan Evans Seltzer Semple
Joan Evans Seltzer Semple

August 27, 1926 - March 6, 2018
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Resided in Warrenton, Virginia


Joan Evans Semple of Warrenton, Virginia passed away on March 6th,2018 after a long battle with complications following a stroke. She was 91. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania she spent her early years in Rose Valley, Pa. At age 5 she contracted polio and while this might be a disability to some, she walked courageously through life never letting that slow her down and demonstrating to all that knew her that life was full of limitless possibilities.

Mrs. Semple attended the George School in Newtown Pennsylvania and later earned her bachelor’s degree in Landscape Horticulture from Penn State. It was there that she met her husband, John Brooks Semple, and where their love story began. They were married September 10th, 1949. She shared his love of travel, sailing and farming, eventually settling in War- renton Virginia in 1976. For 4 decades she worked as a licensed Landscape Architect and supervised their commercial Holly Growing business at Suffield Farm and their holly trees adorn the grounds of the White House, Arlington Cemetery, and the National Museum of the American Indian as well as many other federal and state grounds. In addition, Suffield hollies can be found in Colonial Williamsburg and many estates and homes surrounding Fauquier County, Virginia. While heavily involved in her community and in horticulture she also raised four sons. She was known to say that living with Brooks and the “boys” was “like living on the edge of a volcano”. Joan was an active member of the Warrenton Antiquarian Society and was involved with scheduling tours and activities at Weston in Cas- anova, VA She was a long time member of the Warrenton Garden Club and past president of the same. She was also a member of Christ Church in Warrenton. Her work ethic and never-give-up attitude inspired others to give their all. She enjoyed entertaining, reading and was an avid gardener. A friend to all, Joan touched many lives over her lifetime and left her indelible mark on her community.

Wife, Landscape Architect, Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, she is survived by her husband of 68 years, J. Brooks Semple, of Warrenton, Her sons Charles B. Semple (Carol) of Boulder Colorado, Barry S. Semple (Lynn) of Boise Idaho, Andrew D. Semple (Shannon) of New Bern NC, and Stephen H. Semple of Warrenton Va. as well as her sister Gretchen S. Rogovin of Ibiza, Spain and Iowa City IA. She is predeceased by her brother C. Scott Seltzer, of Rose Valley. She cherished her 8 grandchildren. Mrs. Semple also enjoyed seven great-grandchildren and was blessed with numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.

Joan stood as a shining example of perseverance and determination for all. Never deterred in her desire to live life to its fullest, she led by example showing her friends and family that life was full of joy and challenges and all should be met head on. She is surely dancing in heaven unencumbered by braces and wheelchairs and tending to God’s heavenly garden. Services will be held on April 14th at 1pm at Christ Church in Warrenton. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in her name to Christ Church or the charity of one’s choice.

On line condolences may be sent to Moser Funeral Home.


Christ Church
95 Green Street
Warrenton, VA US 20186
Saturday, April 14, 2018
1:00 PM


horse-drawn carriage
We invite you to discuss freely and frankly with us questions you may have, regarding these and any and all respects of the funeral.


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