Joan Carol Jankunas
Dedicated to family, teacher, 74
Joan (nee Anthes) Jankunas, age 74, of Cranford, passed away on July 9, 2021.
Joan was the beloved wife of her high school sweetheart Thomas Jankunas, loving mother of Jennifer Surmay (Gary) of Cranford and Alison Moffitt (Michael) of Scottsdale, AZ. Devoted daughter of the late William and Doris Anthes of Elizabeth, NJ and beloved stepmother Jean Anthes (nee Capabianco) of Elizabeth. Joan is also survived by her loving sister Patricia Kurzweil of Colonia, loving brother William Anthes of Elizabeth/Torrington, CT and beloved sister-in-law Marie-Elaine Degnan (Robert) of Barnegat, NJ. Joan’s pride and joy were her five grandchildren: Ryan, Evan, Kaelyn, Caroline and Matthew. She is also survived by her four nieces and many cousins.
Joan worked at Wakefern Food Corporation in Elizabeth and earned her degree in early childhood education from Kean University while raising her two young daughters. She began her career as a preschool teacher at Temple Beth Ahm in Springfield then taught first grade for 14 years at the George Washington Elementary School No. 1 in Elizabeth before retiring in 2008. Joan was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, her neighborhood Sunny Acres Civic Improvement Association and a parishioner of St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in Cranford.
Joan attended most of her grandchildren’s sporting events, school plays and concerts. Through the many trips and experiences she planned, Joan’s grandchildren felt incredibly special and loved. She enjoyed traveling with her husband, daughters and grandchildren – including cruises, visiting Arizona and summer vacations in Long Beach Island. Joan was active and always willing to go out of her way to help her family and many friends. Family was her priority in life. Joan will be greatly missed.
Visitations will be held on Tuesday, July 13th from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Higgins & Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home in Westfield, NJ. A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday 9:00 a.m. at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, 40 Alden Street, Cranford with burial to follow in St. Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Colonia.
As Joan lived with Type 1 diabetes, she was a role model to those also living with Type 1. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Camp Nejeda, www.campnejeda.org, a summer camp in Stillwater, NJ that empowers children living with type 1 diabetes. Camp Nejeda was dear to Joan’s heart
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