Joan Liebler, 1915 ~ 2009

Joan Warburton Eskell Liebler passed away on Jan. 24, 2009 at Allen Memorial Hospital in Moab.

Joan was born Feb. 2, 1915 in Sheffield, England to Charles and Ingrid Muller Warburton during WWI. Her father was an actor/director at the Old Vic Theater and after the war accepted a job at Copley Theater in Boston as an actor/director.

Joan’s grandmother, Eliza Dillion Warburton, moved back to England, so she took Joan with her, where she was lived until she completed her high school education.

In 1931, Joan returned to America to be with her parents in Long Island, N.Y., where her dad was director of NBC Radio. Joan later moved to New York City and worked as a secretary and a radio actress. In 1939, she took a job as secretary working for the British Consulate General in New York, and later volunteered to work for the British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, which moved her back to England in 1943.

After the war she moved back to New York, where things had changed and most of her contacts in the radio business had left for Hollywood, Calif. During this time Joan met and married Dr. Bertrem Eskell, an English surgeon. Dr. Eskell died six years later.

A few years later she met an old friend, Father Baxter Liebler, who talked to her about St. Christopher’s Mission, working with the Navajo Nation in Bluff, Utah.

In 1962, Joan decided to go to work with Father Liebler as one of the staff at the St. Christopher’s Mission. In 1964, Father Liebler and his staff, which Joan was part of, moved to the Hat Rock Mission in Monument Valley, which was an outreach of St. Christopher’s Mission. In 1977, Father Liebler’s wife passed away, and in 1978 Joan married him at the mission. Father Liebler died in 1982 and in 1983 Joan decided to retire, join the Roman Catholic Church, and, in Nov. of 1983, move to Moab. She was an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church.

Joan had a love for reading and writing.

She is survived by her sister, Helen Peragine; a brother, Christopher Raymond Burton; a niece, Sandra Peragine; her stepchildren, Robert F. Liebler of Miami, Fla., George Liebler of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and John Liebler of Vero Beach, Fla. She is also survived by 24 grandchildren.

Joan was preceded in death by her husbands, Dr. Eskell, and Father Liebler.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 12, and a rosary service will be held from 7 p.m. on Feb. 11. Both services will be held at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Interment will be at the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Moab.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Canon H. Baxter Liebler Foundation, c/o Spanish Valley Mortuary, 386 North 100 West Moab, UT 84532

Condolences may be sent to the family at