Joan Leslie Tieperman

Age 66 Teacher was among early residents of Columbia.

August 17, 2008|By Jacques Kelly

Joan Leslie Tieperman, a 20-year heart transplant survivor and former elementary school teacher, died Aug. 10 at her home in Woodstock in Howard County. She was 66.

Family members said she died of complications related to her heart transplant.

Joan Leslie Abbott was born in Baltimore and raised in Pimlico. She attended St. Ambrose Parochial School and was a 1960 Seton High School graduate. She earned an associate's degree from the old Baltimore Junior College, where she met her future husband, Joseph F. Tieperman Jr., a Rouse Co. financial officer who helped create Columbia in the 1960s.

Mrs. Tieperman taught second grade at St. Anthony's Parochial School in Gardenville. Family members said that she had more than 70 students in her classes.

"She had a way to keep them organized and disciplined," her husband said. "She was a firm but pleasant administrator. She had the ability to give a pupil that certain look and to keep them calm."

She and her family were early residents of Columbia. "In the 1960s, we among the first pioneers in Longfellow," Mr. Tieperman said.

While her four children attended Jeffers Hill Elementary School, Mrs. Tieperman worked there as a teacher's aide. She was later a teacher's assistant at Bet Yeladim Preschool and Kindergarten in Columbia.

When diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 1988, she received the 52nd heart transplant performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In 2006, she also had a kidney transplant, again at Hopkins. Mrs. Tieperman also had back surgery for a disc replacement, suffered a stroke and developed cancer.

"She smiled all the time and was pleasant. She never complained," her husband said.

While in a wheelchair, she enjoyed travel three times to Europe. She received kidney dialysis treatments in hospitals in Rome and Siena.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church in Clarksville.

In addition to her husband of 45 years, survivors include two sons, Parker Tieperman of Columbia and Lance Tieperman of Essex; two daughters, Holly Sneeringer of Catonsville and Brooke Talbot of Columbia; her parents, Joseph Abbott of Timonium and Evelyn Abbott of Bel Air; a sister, Patricia Abbott of Bel Air; a brother, Thomas J. Abbott of Hampstead; and nine grandchildren.

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