Joanne Barbara Mirosavich (Zalenka), (76) of Reisterstown, MD passed away on November 22, 2019 from the effects of frontotemporal dementia. Born March 29, 1943 in Cleveland, OH, she was the daughter of the late Marie (Niksa) Zalenka.
She was a graduate of Parma Senior High School class of 1961 where she graduated with a 4.72 GPA and was number 25 in a class of over 1,000. She worked as a computer operator at Highland Middle School and Medina High School for over 30 years. Joanne overcame much adversity throughout her life and came to a place of deep life enjoyment in her golden years after she moved to Maryland at the age of 69. She was a lifetime learner and once in Maryland, took Spanish and art classes, enjoyed pottery and working with stained glass, volunteered at Carroll Hospital, worked out with a personal trainer and was a member of the Women’s Club of Glyndon. Joanne was a sweet and gentle woman who loved animals and absolutely adored her family. She was a kind and gentle woman who would do anything for anyone. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Joanne always wanted to be an organ donor to continue to help others even after her death. Her brain was donated to the Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health for Frontotemporal Dementia research. She may help find a new drug or a cure for the disease in the future
Surviving are her two daughters: Christine Gerstmyer and husband Doug of Reisterstown, MD, Kimberly Hengel and husband Lance of Jupiter, FL; six granddaughters: Ashley Gerstmyer, Ashton Johnson, Olivia Hengel, Abby Hengel, Bridget Hengel, Brooke Hengel and one grandson Alex Gerstmyer and wife Kara; three great-grandsons: Peyton Manzo, Cayden Manzo, and Kaleb Manzo and cousin Robert Nikson, brother Jack Zalenka and sister Rosalie David.
Joanne’s friends, Dan Halcick and Kay De Matteis were a constant presence even after her move to Maryland. Joanne made many new friends after her move from Ohio; Dawn Grammer became Joanne’s third daughter. Dewey Fanning was the son Joanne never had.
Special thanks to Carroll Hospice nurse Lisa D’Amato and Cathy Comeau and Ashley Martin of Inspirations who all lovingly cared for Joanne like she was their own mother.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, December 7th from 10:00am - 12:00pm at the ELINE FUNERAL HOME - 2901 Bloom Rd, Finksburg, MD followed by lunch at Linwoods. Interment will be private
Memorial contributions are suggested in Joanne’s name to Carroll Hospice, 292 Stoner Avenue, Westminster, MD 21157 or www.carrollhospice.org/make-a-gift.