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Joan Swift Padberg

joan padberg

Swift, Johan “Joan” Willet – A 41-year resident of Murrieta, CA. Born September 7, 1935, in Waukegan, Il. Joan was 88 when she passed away peacefully at her Murrieta ranch on May 17th.

Joan often fondly referred to her smalltown roots on Holdridge Road. However, her father Russell, was a risk-taking entrepreneur which brought the family to Manhattan Beach, CA.  at the end of Joan’s Junior year in high school.  Despite leaving her childhood home and friends, Joan embraced the beauty, adventure and opportunity of her newly adopted home. During her Senior year at her new high school, Joan was nominated to the Homecoming Court while working in the family’s Shrimp Restaurant located at the end of the Redondo Beach Pier. After graduating, Joan attended Woodbury College (Los Angeles), with her sister Jean.

In the lunchroom at Hughes Aircraft, where Joan worked, the darling snack man, Billy Klein, wheeled in. Their eyes met, and their dance began. The darling couple, with movie star looks and style, charm and infectious sense of humor married June 18, 1955, and moved to West Blvd. in Inglewood. Their “first” prize, Kori Jean, arrived March 29, 1957. A thrilling time for the young, socially active couple.  Shortly thereafter, the couple purchased a bungalow on 19th Street, Hermosa Beach where the family spent hours on the beach, in 1920’s era costume created by Joan, and remained close to Joan’s family, Bapa, Nana and Jean, residing in Manhattan Beach. Wanting to be closer to Billy’s sister, Doris and her family, and his industrial catering business, the couple purchased the family avocado farm in La Habra Heights in February 1963. True to their socially active lifestyle, the couple hosted many “picking parties” with family and newfound friends from the Sunset Junior Women’s Club of Hacienda Heights. After years of trying, the couple was blessed with their second “prize”, on December 19, 1963, when son Kassen William was born. This was an exciting time for the mother of two.  However, the excitement piqued when in November of 1964 the family discovered a “surprise” was on the way. Our “surprise”, Kamber Joan arrived July 30th, 1965. The ensuing years of raising a young family brought many happy and memorable experiences: days on the beach; Palm Springs; the Kona Kai Club; swimming and diving at Sunset Hills Country Club; tennis, swimming and diving at Los Coyotes Country Club, and many more. Unfortunately, the darling couple were unable to reconcile their differences and ended their 13-year marriage, never ending their love for each other, friendship and sense of family.

This new chapter in Joan’s life, as a single mother of three, presented significant challenges as she entered the workforce for the first time in her adult life. It was a “man’s world” in the early 1970’s when Joan started selling print advertising for the Highlander Newspaper. She met this challenge with much success, able to provide for her children and her social life. No one could’ve known then that her experiences with the Highlander would provide the foundation for her future community magazine, The Country Review.  Single and social, she and her longtime friend, a work colleague, would frequent the Newporter Inn to dance the night away.  On one such night, she met precious Brian Padberg, five years her junior. And his pursuit was on! One of his first questions to Joan was “are you a Republican?”

After a short courtship, Joan and Brian married on September 16, 1972. The couple purchased a new home in Fullerton, as Brian wrote in a Gals with Grit issue of The Country Review, “(s)hortly following our marriage she took on the heavy responsibility of assuming the care for and raising of my two boys, along with her three children, her strength and character was clear, absolute and hasn’t altered for one day since!” At Brian’s urging, the family “relocated several times, moving from California to Illinois, to Ohio and back to (Murrieta) California. These moves required career changes for her. Not once did she complain or express serious displeasure in these difficult and challenging life changes.”

In her true entrepreneurial fashion, Joan recognized the Temecula Valley’s need of a high-quality community publication, and she founded The Country Review Magazine in September 1987. For 20+ years, as Brian wrote “month in, month out/through the boom times and “near bust” times in our Valley, she delivered a product every single month that has received plaudits and appreciation of both readers and advertisers alike.”

Joan is preceded by her Father, Russell “Bapa” G. Swift; Mother, Willett “Nana” H. Swift; Brother, Russell George “Sonny” Swift, Jr., Sister, Kathern Jean “NeNe” Swift; Husband William “Billy” Klein; Husband, Brian K. Padberg. She is survived by her Children: Daughters, Kori Jean Klein (Lisa Steck) and Kamber Klein-Rutz (Kirt Moore); Son, Kassen Klein; Grandchildren, Chase William-Kendall Klein; and Jenna Katherine Rutz; Son-in-Law Jerry Rutz, and Daughter-in-Law, Theresa Romo-Klein

Joan also leaves many beloved family members: Niece Linda “LaLa” Henry (Jon), and their Children and Grandchildren; Nephews, Robert “Bobby” Garrison, and his Children and Grandchildren; Michael “Frued” Garrison (Beth), and his Children and Grandchildren; Niece, Gale Woznicki (Roy), and their Children and Grandchildren; Nephew, Harold Stone; Nieces, Donna Sanchez; and Pam Smith (Vic) and their daughter. Additionally, Stepsons Kevin Linden Padberg and Kerry Arthur Padberg; and Brian’s eight Grandchildren.

Moreover, Joan leaves behind sincere friendships with so very many. One of the longest is her friend of more than 60 years, Judy Richman. Joan and Judy met while both were members of the Sunset Junior Women’s Club. That bond remained through decades, cross country moves and to her final earthly days.

A true and unique character, a treasure for all, a beautiful mosaic of a kind and driven woman.

In lieu of flowers, Joan requested donations be made to the Salvation Army of your choice.

Celebration of Life services to be announced by the family at later date.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to England Family Mortuary, Inc.

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  1. The world lost a firecracker with heart. Condolences to the entire family. Joannie will be missed. Her contribution to this community was immeasurable and she never wanted anything in return, she just did it. 💜

  2. Beautiful Joanie, inside and out, will be so missed by so many. Your light and love will continue to shine. So blessed to have loved you and been loved by you. 🦋

  3. Joan and Kamber welcomed my daughter and I to this valley like family from a business sales call and a few riding lessons. Noni became a friend and my second mom; her open heart, caring soul and generosity through hugs and love will be missed. I was blessed the day I met these two beautiful women in Murrieta. Holding back the tears is difficult; Noni in heaven, please know how much and how many love your spirit and soul🩵🙏🦋

  4. Joan’s smile made everyone smile in a room. She has a beautiful spirit that you could feel. I hope her journey is filled with good times and maybe even a cocktail or two.. Thanks for letting us get to know you end enjoy some great times partying with you..

  5. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹What a kind, and beautiful soul!! It is hard to believe your lovely Noni is now in Heaven, having touched so many hearts and lives in countless ways…She had such a unique way of making everyone feel so welcome at the Ranch. Joanie touched so many others hearts and lives in countless ways…And I know she definitely reached out to me and my family in countless ways. 🌹Evelyn and May May and the entire Yantis Family 🙏🏻🦋


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