Joan Donnelly

Obituary of Joan Donnelly

Joan C. Donnelly, (nee Richter) age 84 of Pompton Plains died Saturday, January 27, 2018.  Born in New York City she lived in Ramsey and Holmdel before moving to Pompton Plains 5 years ago.  Joan was a founding member and honorary member of Edelweiss-Passaic Schuhplattler Verein, and a member of the Mercedes Club of North America.  She was a dancer most of her life and performed in many local operettas and dance productions, her first performance having been at the age of 12 in the opera Faust.  She also competed in the Polka Division of the Harvest Moon Ball and made the finals in 1951.   She met her husband at the Wyckoff Grange and together they enjoyed folk dancing, especially the German Schuhplattler – so much so that they founded a dance group that is still thriving today.  Although baptized in the Lutheran Church, she was married at St. Elizabeth’s Church.  She was a part of the community at St. Paul’s R.C.  Church for many years; and in 1995 she became a member of the Catholic Church.  When she and her husband moved to Holmdel, they became members of the Church of St. Catharine where she joined the Rosary Makers and has made hundreds of rosaries that are sent to missions around the world.  Surviving is her husband of 64 years Robert E. Donnelly of Pompton Plains, her children, Ellen Mayer and her husband Edward of Midland Park and Robert E. Donnelly Jr. and his wife Karen of Bel Air, MD.  Also surviving are her four grandchildren, Edward Mayer, Michael Mayer and his wife Carolyn, Kelly Donnelly, Jennifer Donnelly and her wife, Kristine; and her great granddaughter, Mariella Mayer.  Visiting Friday, February 2nd from 5:00 to 8:00pm at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Ave., Wyckoff, NJ.  Funeral Mass Saturday, February 3rd at 10:00am at Church of the Nativity, 315 Prospect St., Midland Park, NJ.  Entombment to follow at Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah, NJ.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297-0303 and St. Jude Tribute Program, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis. TN 38148 would be appreciated.