Joan Schimpf Root, 91, formerly of Chestnut Hill and Blue Bell, a longtime civic volunteer died Jan. 16 of respiratory failure at The Hill at Whitemarsh.

Mrs. Root had been an active volunteer at several Philadelphia institutions. She was a trustee emeritus of the Philadelphia Museum of Art where she had served as chair of the Museum Guide Program and president of the Women’s Committee in addition to being a guide for many years. Her friendship with C. Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch was instrumental in the museum obtaining his arms and armor collection upon his death.

She also was a Port Warden of the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum and served on the board of directors of Philadelphia Hospitality Inc. and the Friends of the Independence National Historical Park. She was an ambassador for the City of Philadelphia on a delegation trip to Paris, France, in 2006 and served as a guide at Independence Hall Park during the Bicentennial Celebration.

Her volunteer activities also included serving as a member of the Friends of Art at the Philharmonic Galleries in Naples, Fla., the Director’s Guild of Morris Arboretum, the Random Garden Club, the Acorn Club and the Junior League of Philadelphia.

A graduate of Germantown Friends School and Skidmore College, she was one of the first participants in The Experiment for International Living based in Stowe, Vt. and spent several summers living with host families in Denmark, Mexico and Guatemala.

An avid athlete and a lover of nature, Mrs. Root enjoyed sailing, fishing, playing golf, tennis, and squash, hiking and building terrariums. She was a member of Royal Poinciana Golf Club and Sunnybrook Golf Club and had five holes-in-one during her life.

She is survived by a son, Henry W., of Los Angeles; a daughter, Louise R. Melby, of Naples, Fla.; and four grandchildren. Mrs. Root’s husband, Stanley W. Root Jr., and a son, Walter W., preceded her in death.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 E Chestnut Hill Ave. in Chestnut Hill.

Memorial donations may be made to the Walter W. Root Arborist Internship Program, c/o the Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania, 100 Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118, or the Library Fund of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, P.O. Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101. – WF

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