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Margaret Joan Lobdell

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May 19, 2023

Margaret Joan Lobdell, known as Joan to her friends, passed away on May 17, 2023, a month and a day after her 99th birthday. Joan was born in New York City on April 16, 1924, the daughter of Lois Hollenbaugh Morgenstern and Ronald Morgenstern. Her family, including younger brother John, relocated to Cedar Ridge in Irvington, NY, in 1930, where she lived until the summer of 2022.

Joan graduated from Irvington High School in 1942, attended St. Lawrence University, and graduated from the Philadelphia School of Occupational Therapy in 1945. Her profession was the perfect match for her creativity and caregiving skills. An incomplete list of the handcrafts and arts Joan taught her patients and used throughout her life include: woodwork, metalwork, spinning, weaving, needlepoint, chair caning, hand and machine sewing, antique doll repair, upholstery, quilting, and watercolor painting. She especially enjoyed working with children with cerebral palsy and the elderly; she retired at age 65 from the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Bridgeport, CT.

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While studying in Philadelphia, Joan met her future husband, Dr. James O. Lobdell, and reconnected with him after World War II. They married in 1948 and later moved to Fairfield, CT, where they raised their two sons, Keith and Kent, with an abiding love for family, the outdoors, and growing things. She was a caregiver for her parents in their later years, at which time she moved back to Irvington.

She was an active member of St. Barnabas Church, serving on the Vestry and the Altar Guild, where her ability to get red wine and candle wax out of linens was legendary. In addition, she served on the board of the Irvington Historical Society and was a member of the Garden Club of Dobbs Ferry.

Joan was a consummate reader, storyteller, family historian, letter writer, poet, baker, gardener, and loving mother and Grammy. 

She was predeceased by her parents, brother, sister-in-law Frances Morgenstern, and husband. She is survived by her sons James Keith (Julia) Lobdell and Kent (Elise), as well as by her grandchildren Claire (Jack), Christopher (Meredith), and Johanna (Brandon), and great-grandchildren Simona, Annelise, Julian, Eva, Tristan, and Esmé, all of whom were able to spend time with her in the weeks before her death. She is also survived by two nieces, five nephews, and many great- and great-great-nieces and nephews and friends.

A funeral service will be held Friday July 7, 10:30am, at St. Barnabas Church in Irvington, NY, followed on Saturday by a private interment.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Irvington Historical Society, 131 Main Street, P.O. Box 23, Irvington, NY 10533 or United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Connecticut, 42 Norwich Road, Quaker Hill, CT 06375.

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