Joan Corette Hanley, 87

| September 22, 2020 12:15 AM

Joan Corette Hanley died Sept. 15, 2020, at Flathead Lake in Montana at age 87. A third-generation Montanan, she was born in Missoula to John Earl and Elsie Pauly Corette. While a sophomore at Butte High School, she met a tall, athletic classmate, Donald Lee Hanley, who would later become her husband in March of 1953. Joan attended Stanford before joining Don at Montana State College in Bozeman, and they moved to Chicago and Seattle to complete their college educations at Northwestern and University of Washington. Joan worked as a speech therapist and audiologist while raising sons Lee, Dean, Scott (deceased 2003) and Mark in Pleasant Hill and Lafayette, Calif. Following Don’s career progression with Unocal, the Hanley family moved to Rancho Palos Verdes in 1963. Daughter Elise joined the family in 1965. Joan dedicated herself to her children and community, immersing herself in supporting their schools, extracurricular activities and local philanthropies.

Joan then embarked on a successful 40-year professional and philanthropic career. She served as a director of Edison International and Southern California Edison for 25 years, during a period of tremendous change, growth and challenge for the companies. She was an owner and managing partner of Miramonte Vineyards, president of the Rancho California/Temecula Winegrowers Association, director of public affairs of the Monaghan Co.-Long Point, and a trustee of Pomona College. Joan’s deep love of people and her ability to quickly connect with the stories of their lives served her well in leading numerous civic and charitable organizations. She was a founding trustee of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Education Foundation, chairman of the Harbor-UCLA Research and Education Institute, president of the Peninsula Chapter of the National Charity League, director of the Corporate United Way, and president of the Peninsula Committee of Children’s Hospital (class of 1974). Joan’s faith was a foundational part of her life. She was an active member at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Pedro, Calif., and more recently at Sacred Heart Parish in Palm Desert, Calif.

Many have referred to Joan as a “force of nature” and speak of the significant impact she had in their lives, most especially her husband, Don, her children and their spouses, her 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, brother William P. Corette, and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews, friends and colleagues.

There will be a celebration of life at some future date when we can all gather again in her honor. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Joan’s honor to the Scott Hanley Memorial Scholarship at Pomona College (contact Robin Flynn at 626-222-2930) or the Peninsula Committee of Children’s Hospital (

Messages of condolences may be shared with the family online at Arrangements are under the care of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.