January 15, 1938 - February 23, 2021
ASSOCIATE COMMITMENT: April 4, 1987
A life-long resident of NJ, long-time resident of North Arlington, and formerly of Jersey City, Joanne was born to the late John and Olga "Alba" (nee Mastandrea) Roda. She is survived by her brother William of New Lisbon, confidant Rita Shannon of North Arlington, and is also missed by a whole host of dear friends as well as former students whom she considered her family. Joanne was well-known for being highly faith-filled, humble, generous, and kind. She enjoyed many years of teaching in several NJ school districts after completing her degree in 1962. In order to care for her mom, Joanne took early retirement in 1989 from the North Arlington School District, where she had served 8 years as a reading teacher. An avid life-long learner, in 1996 Joanne also completed a 2nd degree in Religious Education at Felician University and then enrolled in additional coursework there as recently as 2018. A mere month before her passing, Joanne had remarked what an honor she always considered it to share her birthday with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because she admired his ministries and quest for
social justice in the civil rights movement.
Joanne was a parishioner of St. Joseph RC Church in East Rutherford, an associate with the Sisters of Saint Dominic in Blauvelt, NY, and ministered at both of those locations in addition to Queen of Peace RC Church in North Arlington. Her volunteer work included several decades as a CCD instructor for students with and without disabilities, Rosary Altar Society, lector, Eucharistic Minister, and as an adult altar server for funerals. Joanne devotedly visited her brother William at the New Lisbon Developmental Center every week until COVID-19 restrictions curtailed that and she needed to primarily use telephone contact. She was well known in her neighborhood for walking or taking local buses to complete her daily errands, always with a contagious smile and a positive outlook. She was a member of the Senior Harmony Club as well as the Friends of the Library in North Arlington, and also attended events at Community of God's Love in Rutherford. Joanne received a Rite of Christian Burial, with Father Joseph Astarita presiding, at Lyndhurst Hillside Cemetery. She is buried with her maternal grandparents.