Joan Lynch Coan, 96, longtime Ridgewood resident, passed away peacefully on June 1, at the Waldwick home of her daughter and loving caregiver, Jennifer, after almost five years of in-home hospice care. Joan was a perfect example of the Greatest Generation: cutest kid ever in Depression times, sweetheart teenager pre WWII, NY commuter, Navy Veteran, UC Berkeley college student, mother of five, civic worker extraordinaire, “Grandma” to all children and pets. She will be sorely missed and remembered by many.
She was raised in Dumont, NJ where she dated Jack Coan in high school. After graduation she worked in NYC while waiting to meet the minimum age requirement of 20 to enlist in the Navy. Joan served in the Waves and was stationed in Imperial Beach, CA and Bainbridge Island, Washington as Radioman Third Class. Using the GI bill and against her parents wishes she enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley.
After the war, she and Jack married on August 22, 1948 in Tenafly, NJ. They moved to Ridgewood where they raised five children. They loved Ridgewood! It set the bar for wherever they travelled. Their highest compliment was “It was almost as nice as Ridgewood”. Both were involved in civic affairs and were an active part of the Village they felt so strongly about.
Joan was a 50 year member of the League of Women Voters, serving on the Board in many capacities and as the editor of the New Jersey League’s state newsletter. She is remembered editing and typing copy on mimeograph sheets at the dining room table. She enjoyed taking on research projects and studying community issues. She was the oldest woman elected president of the Ridgewood League taking office at age 76. In 2007 she presented at the statewide meeting on environmental concerns and biomass.
She also belonged to The Democratic Club of Ridgewood & The UNA Association with Jack. She was on the Bicentennial Committee in Ridgewood, where she stepped up to help create and produce a film about the Village for the 1976 event: "Ridgewood, A Nice Place to Live" (available at the Ridgewood Library). Her professional career included many active years as a licensed real estate agent most recently at Burgdorf Realtors. She loved reading the New York Times, doing the NYT crosswords on Sunday with family, a strong coffee with a crumb bun at her side. All were welcome to join her for a cup.
Predeceased by her husband John (Jack) Coan, May 16, 2004 and her sisters Mary Lynch Pullen, February 2nd, 2008, and Rose Lynch Pfister, November 8, 2013. Joan is deeply mourned by her five children: James Coan & wife Cathy Eide Coan of Oneonta NY, Susan Coan Bassity & husband Bruce of Waddington, NY, J. Michael Coan of Ridgewood NJ, Hester Coan & husband Harty Mokros of Lexington KY and Jennifer Coan of Waldwick. She was the loving grandmother to fifteen grandchildren and ten great grandchildren and will be missed by her large extended family. She is survived by her dear sister Patricia Lynch Lufkin of Frederick, Maryland; her sister-in-law Joyce Coan Whyte of Bainbridge New York, and brother-in-law Donald Coan of North Carolina.
A celebration of Joan’s Life will be scheduled at a later date as current circumstances change to allow friends and family to gather safely. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations made in Joan’s name to The Fell House in Allendale where her sister, Rose Lynch Pfister, had lived for many years: http://www.johnfellhouse.org/donate/ We would love to hear your memories of Joan on Feeney Funeral Home tribute wall.