Joan Olender

Obituary of Joan Olender



Joan Olender passed away peacefully on August 8, 2017 at the age of 66, surrounded by her husband of 42 years, Richard, and daughters Lisa and Karen.  Joanie was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, and friend.  Born in Schenectady, NY on October 30, 1950 to Sara and Leroy Siegel, Joanie attended Linton High School and studied art history at Green Mountain College.  She then moved to Washington, DC, where she studied art history at American University and did graduate work at George Washington University in art therapy.  While in DC, she met her husband Richard.  Joanie and Richard spent 4 years together in DC before returning to the Capital District to run the family furniture business.  Joanie and Richard settled in Niskayuna where they raised their two daughters.  Joanie was very active in the Niskayuna community and schools.  She always put her creativity and art skills to use, whether making homemade Halloween costumes, posters for Niska-Day, or artwork for her grandchildrens’ rooms.  Joanie was an excellent cook who enjoyed having family and friends over for meals.  Her vibrant, loving, and unique personality made her loved by friends and family alike.  Joanie is survived by her husband Richard, daughters Lisa (Seth) Newman, Karen (Philip) Nash, grandchildren Zachary Newman and Pearl Nash, brother Richard (Susan) Siegel and her many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.


 Services for Joanie will be held at 11am on Friday, August 11 at Congregation Gates of Heaven, 852 Ashmore Ave, Schenectady, NY 12309. Shiva will be held at the home of Lisa and Seth Newman, 585 Jefferson Ct., Guilderland NY 12084 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7pm. The family has asked for donations to be made to the American Cancer Society. Interment will be private.