Joanne Koolick, 74, passed away on October 1, 2022 in Long Branch, NJ. She was born on October 7, 1947 in Passaic, NJ to Marjorie and Robert Koolick.
Joanne was a beloved Head Start teacher in Long Branch in the 1970’s. People who knew her then still remember the astounding 6’ high, colorful puppet theatre she designed and built for the children. In the 1980’s, she worked at EAI in Eatontown, where she designed circuit boards for flight simulators. But eventually she returned to her true calling, helping people, particularly children, and in the 1990’s, she worked as a child health care worker at St. Clare’s Aids Resource Foundation for Children. In her 40’s, Joanne decided to become a pediatric nurse and, while raising two children alone, she put herself through nursing school and became a pediatric oncology nurse at Monmouth Medical Center, where she was adored by her young patients and colleagues alike. She retired in 2018, but she was far from done helping those in need. She took a part-time position at the Arc of Monmouth Work Opportunity Center in Tinton Falls, where she worked with developmentally disabled adults. True to form, her clients loved her and Joanne loved them, and she was heartbroken when the Center had to close at the beginning of the pandemic.
Joanne had a unique artistic flair for design, which was reflected in her eclectic home, which housed a collection of antique toys, folk art, Eastern art and objects, paintings and photographs. In addition to her passion for design, she was a serious reader and always had a book nearby. She was an aficionado of 60’s music and could listen to it all day long. She was also an excellent cook with an impressive trove of recipes in her kitchen. But above all, Joanne gave herself over to the needs of others. She lived by the adage Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and nothing made her angrier than injustice in any form.
Joanne is predeceased by her daughter Chloe. She leaves behind her daughter Alexis, her son Robert Kauffman, his wife Laraine, three grandchildren, Toni, Emily, and Robbie, her sister Alison Barry, and two nephews, Shawn and Danny. She also leaves behind her friend and neighbor, Lisa Spiegel, who, with loving kindness, devoted herself, on a daily basis, to seeing Joanne through the last and most difficult months of her life. Lisa will take over the care of Luna, Joanne’s cherished cat. She also leaves behind a group of lifelong friends, who will remember Joanne always for her generosity of spirit, kindness, humor, honesty, and sense of fairness.
There will be a visitation held at Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Avenue in Long Branch on Wednesday, October 5 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence through the Tribute/Guestbook link above.