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Wolfgang 'loved her family, her community, and being a community advocate'

by jmaloni
Sat, Aug 7th 2010 01:00 pm
Joan Wolfgang
Joan Wolfgang

Joan Winter Wolfgang of Lewiston died unexpectedly Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010, at Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center at the age of 66.

 She was born May 19, 1944, in New York City. After attaining her B.S. in education and her M.S. in nutrition from Buffalo State, she became a home economics teacher in the Niagara Falls School System. She retired from that position after maternity leave and was an independent insurance broker for more than 30 years in Buffalo and then Lewiston. She is a former co-owner of the Niagara Renal Center.

Joan believed in her country and her strong commitment to community service. She was chairwoman of the Women's Board for United Cerebral Palsy, 100 Leroy Ave., in Buffalo; a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Women's Committee; officer, Health Systems Agency of Western New York; member and chairwoman of the Planning Board of the Town of Lewiston for the last 30 years; she was chairwoman of the annual Peach Taste-Off competition at the Lewiston Kiwanis Peach Festival for 16 years. She also served as the Niagara County chairwoman of the annual Catholic Charities campaign and was the first chairwoman of the Women's Board of United Cerebral Palsy.

In 1982, Wolfgang was appointed to the Niagara County Community College Board of Trustees. She served most recently as chair of the board in 2007-08, when she completed her term of office. She also served as vice-chairwoman. Wolfgang was a member and officer of the executive committee of the Statewide Association of Boards of Community College Trustees. She also served as a representative of the National Boards of Community College Trustees and was chairwoman of the 1994 New York State Association of Community College Trustees Conference held in Niagara Falls.

NCCC President James P. Klyczek said, "Joan and (her husband) Jerry served as co-chairs of the annual Foundation Gala and they served as lead volunteers in the Foundation's recently completed Major Gifts Campaign. Joan was a major supporter of the student housing initiative and the Hospitality and Tourism Center project. Niagara County Community College, our related college organizations, and Niagara County have lost a community advocate and volunteer."

She was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1984. She and her husband served as chairs of the Niagara University Scholarship Ball and the Mount St. Mary's Foundation Good Works Gala. She belonged to the Niagara Falls College Club and Gourmet Group for the last 30 years.

Wolfgang was the recipient of the WJJL Top Hat of the Week Award for outstanding contributions to the community; a recipient of the WHLD "Good Neighbor Award"; named in "Who's Who in America" 1999-2009; a nominee for Woman of the Year, 2007, for the YWCA of Niagara; a nominee for Woman of the Year, 2008, for Non-Profit Organizations for the YMCA of Western New York; and Woman of Distinction, 2010, from the Niagara Gazette.

In 1968, she married Jerald I. Wolfgang.

"She loved her family, her community, and being a community advocate," her husband said. "She was certainly my best friend."

In addition to her husband of almost 42 years, she is survived by her daughter, Lynn (Wolfgang) Catalano; son-in-law, A. Joseph Catalano; granddaughters, Madeline Jordan Catalano and Allison Natania Catalano; sister, Elizabeth Winter (Allan) Cohen; brother, Scott (Bonny) Winter; nieces, Amanda Winter and Nora Winter; brother-in-laws, Michael (Penny) Wolfgang, Larry (Lieba) Wolfgang; sister-in-law, Molly Gerofsky; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, Miriam and Nathan Winter.

Services will be held at noon Sunday, Aug. 8, at Temple Beth Israel, 905 College Ave., Niagara Falls. No prior visitation. Shiva will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the home of Joseph and Lynn Catalano, 534 Mountain View Drive, Lewiston. No flowers please.

Memorials may be made to Mount St. Mary's Foundation, 5300 Military Road, Lewiston, NY 14092.

Arrangements by Mesnekoff Funeral Home.

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