Joan Faulkner, 103

Joan Faulkner, noted environmentalist, horsewoman and conservationist, who, with her late husband, F. Sheffield Faulkner, founded Golden Herd Farm in Wilton, died on Sept. 11, 2014 in Norwalk Hospital. She was 103.

She and her husband purchased the 18th Century home and farm property on the top of Bald Hill overlooking Kent Pond in 1953. For the next 30 years they raised Guernsey cows, bulls, vegetables and fruit as well as orchids, Easter lilies and poinsettias on the farm. One of their prize cows, Gingham, won the blue ribbon at the Big E Fair in Springfield, Mass., and placed second at the National Western Stock Show in Denver the same year.

She was an early environmentalist and supported national and local conservation organizations her entire life.

Joan Fisher Faulkner was born on July 5, 1911, the only daughter of the late publisher and philanthropist Henry Johnson Fisher and Alice Agnew Fisher of Sabine Farm, Round Hill Road, Greenwich, Conn. She had horses from an early age and became a well-known horsewoman and expert rider. She rode with her father in Connecticut and at the hunt on their farm, Doverton, on the Eastern shore in Maryland. She often accompanied her father on trips to the National Horse Show in Dublin, Ireland, to purchase legendary Irish jumpers. Together they helped found and support the Greenwich Trail Riding Association and established horse trails throughout Sabine Farm property that remain today.

She graduated from Greenwich Academy in 1928 and attended Wellesley College where she graduated in 1933. She attended The Sorbonne in Paris where she studied sculpture and traveled to Istanbul on the Orient Express with her aunt, Katherine Agnew Auchincloss, to visit museums when she concluded her studies. When she returned from Europe she opened a sculpture studio in Manhattan where she created gallery-exhibited pieces in stone, metal and wood.

She and F. Sheffield Faulkner of Rye, N.Y., were married Sept. 30, 1944 in Greenwich, where they lived prior to re-locating to their Wilton farm. She was a member of the Wilton Garden Club and Wilton Riding Club. She traveled extensively, enjoyed knitting, reading, growing orchids and was a Mayflower descendant.

She is survived by a brother, Everett Fisher, Greenwich, Conn., and by her children, Lindsay Faulkner Hagen (Peter J. Hagen), Santa Fe, N.M.; Robert S. Faulkner, Manchester, Mass.; Pamela Faulkner Quinn (Lawrence A. Quinn), Portsmouth, R.I.; Elizabeth H. Faulkner, Warren, R.I.; by her grandchildren, Robert S. Faulkner, Jr., New York, N.Y.; Elizabeth Faulkner Rowe, Gloucester, Mass.; E. Conor Hagen, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Lindsay Fisher Quinn, Burlington, Vt. and Lawrence B.C. Quinn, Portsmouth, R.I. She is also survived by two great-grandchildren and by 11 nieces and nephews. Her brothers Bennett and Agnew are deceased as is her nephew Bennett who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Her husband died in 1995.

A service will be held at St. Mathew’s Episcopal Church, 36 New Canaan Road on Saturday, Sept. 20, followed by a reception at her home, 37 Keeler’s Ridge Road, Wilton.