Joan Willis

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
All Seasons Chaapel At White Haven Memorial Park, Pittsford, NY
210 Marsh Rd.
Pittsford, New York, United States

Obituary of Joan Ridley Willis

Joan Ridley Willis of Rochester passed away peacefully, January 18, 2020, at age 77. She is predeceased by her parents Hannibal William Ridley and Ruth Spruill Ridley. Joan was raised in Newport News, Virginia where she began her life-long education in the Newport News County Educational System. She received a B.A. from the University of Toledo, an M.S.W. from Smith College School of Social Work, a Certificate of Advanced Study from the State University of New York at Brockport, as well as advanced study at Smith College and Harvard University. Joan’s career began in Rochester as a caseworker with Monroe County Department of Social Services; a Clinical Instructor, University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry; Consultant, Genesee Hospital Mental Health Center; Social Worker, Assisting Director and Supervising Director, Pupil Personnel Services; Supervising Director Student Equity and Placement and Supervising Director, Student Support Services/Special Education, Rochester City School District. Her many affiliations include: New York State School Workers; Association of Black Social Workers; President, National Association of Pupil Personnel Services Association; New York State Congress of School Administrators Organization, President, Phi Delta Kappa International; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Rochester Community Players; Legal Aid Society, Board of Directors; Rochester Children’s Nursery, Board of Directors; Junior League of Rochester; Jack and Jill of America, Inc.; St. John’s Home, Board of Directors; University of Rochester Medical Center, Board of Managers; YWCA, Board of Directors; Monroe County Board of Health, Chair Institutional Review, President, United Way; American Cancer Society; Grief Resource Network; United Nations Association of Rochester and a charter member of the Rochester Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In retirement Joan volunteered her time in many community groups, among them, United Way Cash program, and Habitat for Humanity administration. She also enjoyed participation in her cherished book club and her mah jong groups. She was a proud breast cancer survivor and a devoted mentor to many. For the past 16 years, she shared her life with her devoted companion Donald Long. The couple enjoyed dancing, traveling, and socializing with friends. Surviving to cherish her memory are her companion, Donald E. Long; son, Christophe Willis, from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, step-daughter, Lisa Marilyn Willis, St. Petersburg, Florida; her aunts Edna Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dorothy Monroe, Baltimore, Maryland, and Georgia Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as numerous cousins, and friends. A Memorial Service will be held at White Haven Memorial Parks, Inc. All Seasons Chapel, 210 Marsh Road, Pittsford, New York, 14534 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 10:30 gathering, 11:00 service and will be followed immediately by a reception in the All Seasons Gathering Room. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joan’s memory may be made to: Shepherd Home 1959 Five Mile Line Rd., Penfield, N.Y. 14526 or Pluta Cancer Center Foundation, 125 Red Creek Drive Rochester, NY 14623.
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