Joan (Blach) Gartin grew up north of Yuma and graduated from Yuma High School in 1944. She attended Loretto Heights College in Denver. She started her teaching career in Laird and then moved to Wray. She married Marion Gartin in 1948 and after living near Wray for a few years, they settled northeast of Otis. By that time three boys had been born to the family and it wasn’t long before Joan was approached about teaching in Otis. There she taught over 30 years with the exception of 1958-59 when she returned to Greeley to finish her degree and during this year her fourth son was born. She taught 7th grade and other junior high subjects. She loved make homecoming floats and taking her class to Beecher Island when she taught Colorado History. She was an avid supporter of high school athletics and fast-pitch softball in the summers.
Many students considered her their favorite teacher and she loved having former students stop by her classroom or by the farm and visit about college, their jobs, families, etc. Even though she has been retired nearly 20 years, to this day former students stop to see her or send her a note. She and Marion enjoyed racing thoroughbred horses in Colorado and surrounding states and following her their kids and later their grandkids in their many activities.