Joan Samsen passed away at her residence in New York City on July 15, 2021 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Joan was born on September 5, 1932 and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. She was the daughter of Ernest and Agnes Dardis and oldest sister to Eileen Fitzpatrick, Ernie and Robert Dardis.
Joan met her first love on the IRT subway platform, who captured her attention with the pickup line “is that you - Miss Breezy Point”? Their marriage would start and end in New York City, but it took them to London and South Africa, where they began to build their own family.
Joan was widely known for her vibrant and engaging generous spirit. Her warmth and sense of humor made everyone feel welcome and at home. Throughout her life, she made sure that all around her were included in the fun, as she loved to be the center of a good celebration. She had many life-long friends, and even those whom she met for a short time felt as though they had known her deeply.
Joan was a trailblazer and opened her own fundraising business in the 1970’s. Her pride in that success was evident, as she continued to answer the phone, “Samsen Associates,” for the next thirty years. She was a self-made woman who worked tirelessly for the organizations she supported, including the Pregnancy Care Center, the Merchant Mariners, the Israel Cancer Research Fund, and the National Foundation for Jewish Genetic Diseases.
Joan’s greatest achievement was raising three amazingly strong children who embody her passion for family and love of life. While loving them endlessly, she was actually most proud of her nine grandchildren, who made her laugh and brought a smile to her face even in the last days of her life. She is survived by her sister Eileen Fitzpatrick of Brooklyn, New York; her son, Jeffrey Samsen (Suzanne) of Armonk, NY; her daughters Caroline Samsen Mueller (Timothy) of Westchester, NY; and Nicole Samsen Lawrence (Morgan) of New York City and nine beautiful grandchildren Karl, Allegra and Willy Samsen; Ally, Sammy and Logan Mueller; Henry, Phillip and Brooke Lawrence.
A funeral service and burial will be held on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 10am at Redden’s Funeral Home, 325 West 14th Street, NYC with a private burial at St John’s cemetery immediately following. A memorial mass will occur on Thursday, August 5th at 11am at the church of St. Ignatius Loyola 980 Park Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joan’s name can be made to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund.