Joan Pittis

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Grace Episcopal Church
4 Madison Avenue
Madison, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Joan Wilckens Pittis

Joan Wilckens Pittis, lover of life, family, art, nature, and God, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2018 in Madison, NJ at age 85, almost exactly one year after the death of her twin sister Janet, and seven years after the death of Bertram, her husband of 58 years. She was dearly loved and will be keenly missed. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, October 24, at 11 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, Madison, NJ.

Joan was born in Glen Ridge, the daughter of German immigrants William and Adele (Ness) Wilckens. She was raised in West Orange, and moved to Madison when she married her husband, coincidentally also a twin. They shared a journey of mutual creative support that would span the length of their marriage.

From an early age, Joan was propelled by boundless energy and a passion for creating and appreciating beauty in art, design, gardening, and music. Following high school, she studied fashion design. Later, she earned Bachelor and Master degrees in art history at Drew University, and pursued graduate studies at Parsons School of Design. After raising her children – she was an excellent homemaker – she taught studio art and computer graphics at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Drew U. and the College of Saint Elizabeth. Her stunning abstracts, landscapes and flower studies in watercolor, oil and other media, inspired by her own garden and by travels with her husband to the Wyoming mountains and the Maine coast, were exhibited at many local venues. Joan was an active member of The Garden Club of Madison, a longtime Grace Church chorister, and a participant in local politics. She was also known for her great sense of fun. Joan particularly adored young children, and they loved her back. She was a motivating force for art and drawing to any young person she met.

Christian faith was central to Joan's being. At the very end, when arthritis rendered her unable to make art, interesting sights continued to stir her imagination. Joan's positive spirit and fortitude uplifted all who knew her. The family is grateful to the many neighbors, friends, professional caregivers, and medical practitioners who supported her in recent years.

Joan was predeceased by her husband Bertram and siblings Janet Denman, Gladys Rinehart and William Wilckens. She is survived by her son Laurence Pittis of New York City and his wife, Karen Haight; daughter Alison Pittis of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; the Denman and Pollock families of Massachusetts; the Rinehart family of Georgia; and Pittis family members in NJ and NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Episcopal Church. Arrangments are under the care of Burroughs, Kohr, and Dangler Funeral Home.

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