The “keeper” of family history, Joan could recall the names and dates to all family milestones, anniversaries, births and deaths. Although blessed with a remarkable memory for numbers, it was really about her love for each and every family member that allowed her to remember all those dates. Fiercely independent and deeply loyal, Joan possessed a loving, and gentle spirit. Truly selfless, she often sacrificed her own vacation or free time to help a family member, babysit a niece or nephew, or help out an elderly neighbor in need. If she knew you, she wanted to know how she could help you. Joan derived great pleasure in doting on those she loved. She never complained or asked for anything in return.
This nurturing and selflessness crossed over into her love for animals as well. A surrogate mother to many dogs and cats throughout her life with each holding a special place in her heart, animals were an undeniable joy for Joan and she was an undeniable joy to them.
Hardworking and providing for herself since age 17, Joan was a career bookkeeper. She worked for Job Corps and Safeway Stores before spending the better part of 20 years with Engineering and Refrigeration Corp. in Jersey City. Known for her meticulous skills, her abilities with numbers made her a huge asset to the companies she worked for.
Upon her retirement, Joan continued to be a source of great support for various family members at times when it was most needed. Countless times were the words spoken, “what would we do without Joanie.” Joan’s retirement was also filled with trips to Atlantic City, dinners out, family celebrations, and of course, perfecting the art of “dog spoiling.” Mostly she just eoyed doing what she wanted when she wanted.
Joan was predeceased by her parents Henry and May Ostendorf; sisters Virginia Frey, Evelyn Perri and her husband Frank, Doris Hume and her husband Marvin; brothers Henry Ostendorf, Otto Ostendorf and his wife Dottie; nephews Bobby, Henry, Carl, Richie and William. She is survived by brother in law Henny Frey and sister in law Annie Ostendorf; nieces Diane, Jodi, Cheryl, Judi, MaryAnn, Barbara, Jane, Carol and Joanne; nephews Sal, Edward William, Kevin, and Robert. Joan is also survived by many great, great great nieces and nephews, as well as countless extended friends and family who deeply loved her. Her loyal dog Buddy Boy has provided her with comfort and joy unparalleled to any other. Services arranged by the Rezem Funeral Home, East Brunswick.