Joan Vandervliet 1944-2009

As many of you know, my mother has been fighting pancreatic cancer for the past year.

This weekend, she finally earned her rest.

If you ever had met my mother, you know there was nothing more important to her than her family, which was extended to more than just my siblings and myself through her involvement in community, both in Midland Park, through her activities with the school organizations we participated in our youth, and then her 15+ years as a member of the Midland Park Board of Education.

She was “Aunt Joanie” to so many, a surrogate mother to others, friends of ours who lost the mother.

None was more important to her than her grandchildren, Sarah and Matthew, for whom she fought so fiercely for every day she had for the past year.

My brother, and sisters have lost our biggest supporter, our staunchest advocate, and our greatest ally in our pursuit of dreams and future.

Sometimes she was also our greatest infuriation, but in that way that someone who sees what is  best for us, when we ourselves can’t.

At this time I want to thank my friends who have helped me through this past year, with all the support you have given. You helped make it possible for me to make it through this past year, and to face the future ahead.

with great love


Below find my mother’s obituary.
VANDERVLIET, Joan, nee Traino, age 64, died at her home on Saturday, March 14, 2009.

Born in Paterson, she lived in Midland Park since 1979. Joan served on the Midland Park Board of Education from 1993 to 2008, serving as both President and Vice-President during her tenure. She was also an active member of Grace Church in Ridgewood, serving in many ministries, most dear to her was the Missions Committee.

Joan is survived by her loving children; Terri Morse of Midland Park, Susan Vandervliet of Gulfport, FL, Robert Vandervliet of Houston, TX, and David Vandervliet of the Bronx, NY; and her grandchildren Sarah and Matthew Morse. She is also survived by her brother John Traino of Hawthorne, NJ.

Visiting hours will be Tuesday 7 to 9 pm, and Wednesday 2 to 4 pm at Grace Church, 340 Meadowbrook Ave, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. There will be a funeral service on Wednesday at 7:00 pm at Grace Church. There will be a prayer service at Grace Church on Thursday at 10:00 am, followed by the interment at the George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus. Arrangements by the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Ave., Wyckoff, NJ,

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Grace Church Mission Fund, 340 Meadowbrook Ave, Ridgewood, NJ 07450, or the Darrah B. Swezey Scholarship Fund, 55 East Center St., Midland Park, NJ 07432.

3 Responses to “Joan Vandervliet 1944-2009”
  1. Ruth Rudd says:

    This is a beautiful tribute. Your Mom was so proud of you and this blog is more evidence of why she was (besides the fact that she just loved you so much). I enjoyed reading it!

  2. Robyn Strange says:

    My sympathy to all of you.
    I remember your mom the most from our “Band” days. All of our moms (my passed away 2 years ago) would follow us (you, Robert, Scott and myself) from football game to band competition every weekend. We had wonderful, loving, and as you said, supportive moms!!! Now they are enjoying heaven.

    I am so sorry to hear about her struggle and passing. May the Lord be your comfort.
    Robyn (Strange)

  3. Sib Nafziger Charles says:

    Hi David, not sure you remember me…I worked with your mom at Christian Overcomers. I actually lived you guys for two summers. I am sorry to hear about your mom…she lived a full life and ministered to many people. May the Lord give you ALL a peace that passes ALL understanding during this difficult time.


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