Joanne M. Near

Joanne M. Near, 83, of West Liberty, passed away Wednesday evening, Dec. 18, 2013, at Mary Rutan Hospital.

She was born in Ithaca, N.Y., on June 16, 1930, to the late John Gaius and Ruth Allgyer Baumgartner.

She married Dr. H. Wells Near on May 22, 1952, in Princeton, N.J., and he preceded her in death on July 26, 1998. She was also preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Dr. David M. Near.

Joanne was a 1952 graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. She was a choir director and assisted her husband with choirs in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey.

Joanne was a member of the Fortnightly Club and had volunteered at Global Crafts for many years. She was a member of the South Union Mennonite Church and was active on many committees.

Joanne is survived by her sons, David E. Near of Bronx, N.Y., Mark H. Near of West Liberty and Thomas W. (Sally) Near of Hilliard; five grandchildren, Eric (Justin) Near, Rachel Near, Jess Near, Caitlin Near and Erin Near; two great-grandchildren, Lili and Rowan Near; sisters, Carolyn (Bishop George) Bashore of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Nancy (Dr. Warren) Dodson of West Liberty; a sister-in-law, Nancy Near of St. Louis, Mo.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Pastor Matthew Williams and Bishop George Bashore officiate a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at the South Union Mennonite Church, West Liberty.

Memorial contributions may be made to the South Union Mennonite Church.

Arrangements were handled by Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home, West Liberty, where condolences may be expressed at