Obituary of Joan E. Hafer
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Joan Elaine (Thomas) Hafer, 88, of Branchport, NY passed away October 20th, 2021 at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. Her husband, Leo F. Hafer, preceded her in death in December 2017. They shared 46 wonderful years together and would have been married 50 years on April 9th of this year. Joan was born January 26, 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the late Roy and Irene (Brennan) Thomas. She grew up in Rahns, Pa graduating from Schwenksville High School in 1951, then received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Mansfield State College in 1955. Joan taught Junior High School for 16 years starting near where she grew up at Worcester, Pa. Schools then Elmira City Schools in N.Y., and then an exciting three year tour working in Lakenheath, England for the U.S. Department of Defense teaching the kids of service members stationed overseas. Her tour included fascinating trips across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, all being a humbling walk through history at that time. Joan road camels in Egypt, visited the Wailing Wall in Israel, took a bus trip through Syria and then through Baghdad and Turkey too. She vacationed in Greece and also toured much of Europe including time on the Mediterranean, visiting the Berlin Wall, enjoying Octoberfest at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, the Palace of Versailles in France, and then finishing off buying wooden shoes in Holland then on to Denmark, Norway and Amsterdam. What an exciting three year tour this must have been. In 1966, Joan returned to the U.S. to teach at Broadway Junior High in Elmira. During this time, she obtained her Master of Science degree in Education from Elmira College and continued to live and teach in Elmira where she met a handsome, former Marine named Leo F. Hafer and married him on April 9th 1971. On that very same day, she took on the role of Mom with Leo's three very young sons. They all moved into Joan's house in Big Flats, N.Y. where she took on the role of raising three young, challenging "Hafer boys" with Leo working his entire career at NYSEG in Corning, N.Y. retiring there after 39 years. After all the kids were out of school, Joan and Leo retired to their home on Keuka Lake which holds many fond memories ranging from sons growing up spending weekends there to great grandchildren vacationing and visiting Great Grandpa and Great Grandma. Joan and Leo both attended the Penn Yan United Methodist Church. Joan is survived by her three sons, Gregory Lee (Brenda), Jeffery Lee, and Barry Lee (Michelle); grandchildren include Courtney, Kiersten, Ashleigh, Bridget (Joanne), Michelle, Christopher (Ashley), Barry Jr. (Mallorie), and Brittany (Nicholas) Hafer Glaze; she has eleven great grandchildren plus many nieces and nephews. Joan's Mother and Father, and two sisters Shirley and Lois preceded her in death. Joan's funeral service will be held graveside at the Branchport Cemetery in Branchport, N.Y. on Friday, October 22nd, at 10:00 officiated by Reverend Kristen Allen. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joan's memory to the Penn Yan United Methodist Church, 166 Main St., Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527 or your charity of choice.