Joanne H. Bleffert, formerly of Goshen, N.Y., dies at age 94

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Joanne Bleffert, formerly of Goshen, N.Y., died on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, at Seasons Hospice, Christiana Hospital, in Newark, Delaware. She was 94.

Joanne was born on April 25, 1924, in Germany, the daughter of Hugo and Marie Schneble. She spent most of her happy childhood living in Freiburg in the Black Forest region of southern Germany. She was a bookkeeper by trade and worked at a local newspaper during World War II. During that time, she met the love of her life, Theodore “Ted” Bleffert, while he was on military leave for a weekend in 1944. It was love at first sight and they were engaged within three days. Before he returned to war, they agreed to find the Orion constellation every night, knowing their sweetheart was seeing it too. Later in life, “Orion 44” would become their car’s license plate.

They married after the war in January 1948 and lived in Belgium. Four years later, they moved their young family to the United States. This was a dream come true for Joanne as she always wanted to become a proud U.S. citizen. When she was young, Joanne read books about the U.S. and especially loved the stories about cowgirls. The first place they lived was Ted’s uncle’s dairy farm, Acme Farm, in Goshen. She was thrilled to live out the dream of being a “cowgirl” and oftentimes helped out by driving the tractor while Ted and his uncle baled hay.

Joanne was a very dedicated mother to her two daughters and loved to participate in their activities. Joanne was a great cook and made every dinner special, especially during the holidays. Every birthday cake was her famous Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cherry torte).

Joanne was an incredibly selfless person, becoming caregiver to several elderly family members in her home. She was a great role model to her family: as a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She and Ted had several “rules to live by” that they instilled in their family. These included “forgive and forget” “never go to bed angry” and “children are not spoiled by love.” Joanne found the “heart” in everything and the best in every person she encountered. She was the epitome of kindness, generosity, and most of all, unconditional love.

In 1980, Joanne and Ted moved from Goshen to Statesville, N.C., after the Ford Motor Company assembly plant where Ted worked closed. Their house was on Lake Norman where they enjoyed boating and participating in the lake’s Power Squadron. They shared their German heritage with their American friends by hosting many Oktoberfest parties.

Ten years later, Joanne and Ted moved to Sun City Center, Fla., where they enjoyed retirement for almost 20 years before moving to Middletown, Delaware, to be closer to their daughter and her family.

Joanne is predeceased by her husband, Ted, and sister, Anna Hauser of Freiburg, Germany. She is survived by her two daughters, Dr. Anita Bleffert-Schmidt and her husband, Walter, of Goshen; and Cindy B. Walkusky and her husband, Alan, of Middletown, Delaware. She is also survived by Anita’s three sons, Scott Daly and his wife, Deanna, their two daughters, Elizabeth and Hannah, of Averill Park, N.Y., William Schmidt and his wife, Kati, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Daniel Schmidt of Goshen. She is also survived by Cindy’s daughter, Marabeth Walkusky of Claymont, Delaware.

Visitation for family and friends will be on Friday, Oct. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Donovan Funeral Home, 82 South Church St., Goshen. A private service and burial will take place with the family.

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