Joan Hammel Goetz of Staten Island, NY and Waymart, PA died at the age of 94 on Friday, October 21, 2022 in Waymart, PA.
Joan was a family manager, conservationist and special education teacher whose sharp intellect, curiosity and merry laugh endeared her to everyone. Joan made friends wherever she was because of her warmth and personal charm. She was proud of her Irish heritage and her research traced her family’s origins back to specific counties and towns in Ireland.
Joan was born on Staten Island, daughter of Frank and Dorothy Hammel and sister to John “Jack” and Elizabeth “Betty.” Her happy childhood in the close-knit neighborhood of Great Kills was filled with friends, family dogs and extended family. She sailed boats with her family at Great Kills Yacht Club, ice skated on the local ponds in winter and was an equestrienne at Clove Lake Stables.
Joan attended high school at Staten Island Academy and received her B.A. from Rosemont College and an M.A. from New York University. After receiving her M.A. Joan taught at P.S.29 on Staten Island. Joan met her husband Donald Francis Goetz at Richmond County Country Club. They were married in 1953 on Staten Island and their family grew to six children.
Joan instilled a sense of responsibility and adventure in her children and encouraged them to engage with the natural world. Family life was filled with animals and the work of caring for them: ponies, cats, rabbits, dogs, ducks and even a raccoon! Joan’s organizational abilities were such that Joan was able to shepherd six children from Staten Island to museum visits in New York City on public transit without losing any along the way.
Joan’s mature years were spent sharing the work of running the family farm in Wayne County, Pennsylvania with her husband, Donald and family for more than 40 years. She oversaw family adventures like horseback riding, canoeing, hunting, 4-H shows and herding Aberdeen angus between the fields. Her children all remember being summoned for dinner from far-off adventures by the sounds of the bell ringing or the bugle echoing in the mountains.
Joan also devoted her energies to community organizations such as the PTA, Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island Greenbelt Natural Areas League, League of Women Voters, Honesdale Women’s Club and The Audubon Society. One of Joan’s gifts was her ability to foster connections over the years with friends, relatives and Rosemont College classmates. Joan was a wizard with a letter and a prolific writer of charming notes which are still cherished by their recipients.
Joan had an iron will, a warm heart and an indomitable spirit that were an inspiration to all who met her. She handled the emergencies of family life with panache and determination.
She is survived by her loving family: sons Donald Francis, Jr. and Stephen Nicholas; daughters Ellin Goetz (Michael Watkins), Karen Goetz, Julie Goetz and Hallie Dorothy Goetz(Jeffrey Toner); grandchildren Glenn, Rhys and Oona Watkins; Charlotte, Isabel, and Pierce Henderson and Kieran and Rylan Toner; and numerous nieces and nephews. Joan was predeceased by her husband Donald Francis Goetz and by brother John Elliot Hammel and sister Elizabeth Hammel Hall.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, 242 Carbondale Rd, Waymart, PA 18472. A viewing will be held the previous day on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and again from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Howell Family Funeral Home, 269 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA, 18472 https://jenkins.funeraltechweb.com/43/About-Us.html
The family requests no flowers and suggests donations in Joan’s name to the Friends of Alice Austen House Inc., 2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10305 https://aliceausten.org/donate and the Staten Island Historical Society, 441 Clarke Ave, Staten Island, NY 10306 historicrichmondtown.org