Joan Karen (Greenwood) Olmstead, 86, of Port Orange, Fla., formerly of Seneca Falls and Waterloo, passed away peacefully on June 7, 2018.
A remembrance and celebration of Joan’s life will be held at a later date.
Contributions in her memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society and Halifax Health Hospice at halifaxhealth.org/hospice.
In 1953, Joan married Thomas H. Olmstead, and for 52 years together they shared a long, happy life until he passed away in 2005. Thomas was an executive in the food industry and worked with Joan’s father in Greenwood Foods, a producer of Beets and Red Cabbage. Joan was born in 1932 in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1937, Joan’s father established Acme Distributors and then later Greenwood Foods. During grade school the family moved to Valley Stream, Long Island. In 1944 they moved to Waterloo N.Y., where her father, Irving Greenwood, relocated the business to be closer to the beet fields. Joan’s parents purchased the Hunt House in Waterloo, the historic site of the planning meeting for women’s rights held prior to the 1848 Convention in Seneca Falls. The house remained in the family until 1999, when Joan and Thomas transferred it to the Trust for Public Land for the National Park Service as part of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park.
Joan graduated from Waterloo Central High School in 1950. She was an active and accomplished student who participated in cheerleading and developed an interest in caring for others. Throughout her life, Joan was a natural caretaker. She attended Keuka College and Syracuse University to pursue nursing studies. Joan had many varied interests throughout her life, and was an early, inveterate, and avid reader. It was not unusual for Joan to leave the library with a bag full of books, invariably absorbing it all at breakneck speed. Joan was an enthusiastic golfer, bridge player, and she had many dear friends and lifelong friendships. Joan was spontaneous and loved to entertain; and could seemingly pull together festivities without muss or fuss.
For many years, Joan lent her efforts to volunteering, serving with the Taylor Brown Hospital Auxiliary, the Seneca Falls Country Club Ladies League, and the Naples, Florida Women’s Club. She also served as a court mediator, and she was the very first chairperson of the Seneca Community Players in Seneca Falls.
Joan was a devoted mother of Thomas G. Olmstead and his wife, Elizabeth, of Seneca Falls, Christy (Olmstead) Nunn and her husband, Dale, of Port Orange, Fla., and Robin (Olmstead) Cain and her husband, Lawrence, of North Hampton, N.H.; proud grandmother of Lauren and Sarah Olmstead, Stephanie and Philip Nunn and Douglas and Christopher Cain; and also survived by her dear cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Preceded in death by her husband, Thomas H. Olmstead; her parents, Irving and Marie (Dugan) Greenwood; and her sister, Doris (Greenwood) Depp.