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Joan M. Petonyak

January 31, 1934 - April 27, 2024

Joan M. Petonyak, 90, of Hamilton, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at Complete Care at Park Place, Monmouth Junction, NJ.


Born in Trenton, Joan was  a lifelong Trenton/Hamilton area resident. She graduated from Hamilton High School West (Class of 1952). She earned an A.A. degree in secretarial science (1974) and a B.A. in liberal studies (1984), both from Rider College.


She was employed at Bristol Meyers Squibb for many years prior to retirement.


Joan was extremely active in politics as an elected committeewoman (Hamilton Democratic Committee), an elections volunteer, and a member of the Hamilton Democratic Club. She contributed strongly to the successful elections of many influential local officials.


Joan was a member of the Hamilton Township Historical Society, Friends of the Hamilton Township Library, and the adult choir at the Cathedral. In her spare time, she especially enjoyed painting and writing poetry. Her paintings were featured in local art shows, and she was a published poet.


Predeceased by her parents, Michael J. and Elizabeth (Solensky) Petonyak, she is survived by many loving cousins.


Joan was a strong-minded, independent woman who lived life on her own terms. Joan’s family thanks her kind neighbors for their decades of friendship, and for being the best kinds of neighbors (the ones who pay attention).


The family thanks Joan’s close friends for being there for her, especially during the past year. They also thank the staff at Complete Care and at Serenity Hospice as well as Joan’s aide/company-keeper Sandra Lippman, placement advisor Soni Pahade of Aging Advisors, and the incredible team at M&G Medicaid Consulting. Without all of these people, the family would not have been able to care for Joan from a distance in nearly as competent or attentive a way. These people and organizations made that care possible—and made an incredible difference in the life of Joan and her family. They will not soon be forgotten.


Visitation for family and friends will be held Saturday, May 11, 2024, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Buklad-Merlino Memorial Home, 2141 South Broad Street, Hamilton, followed by a blessing service at 11:00 a.m.


 A private burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.


 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to one of the following causes:


American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741, or online:

The Skin Cancer Foundation, 205 Lexington Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10016, or online:


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1 Comment

We miss you and love you, Joan.



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