Irvington Legacies – A Tribute:  Joan Lobdell

by The Irvington Historical Society

The Irvington Historical Society and our entire Irvington Community celebrate the life of our friend Joan Lobdell.

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.

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.  Joan will be remembered as a wonderful friend.