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Joan E. Geldmacher
(August 1, 1931 - April 20, 2014)

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Joan E. Geldmacher

Joan E. Geldmacher was born on 8/1/31 in Queens, New York, the only child of Henry W. and Hazel G. Meyer who predeceased her.  She died April 20, 2014, at home surrounded by her loving family and close friend Susan.  A memorial service will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1009 Maple Ave. Elmira at 2 PM on May 3, 2014.  Joan attended Westminster College in Pennsylvania and graduated from Elmira College.  She came to Elmira in 1963 when her husband Rev. John F. Geldmacher was called as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church.  She joined the church and taught Sunday School, worked with youth groups, the Women's Association, and was an ordained deacon and elder.  Occasionally she served as a liturgist and lay preacher.  She taught nursery school, was a Cub Scout den mother, worked at church camps, and delivered Meals on Wheels.  After her husband's stroke, she was appointed to fill his seat on City Council for the rest of the year.  John predeceased her in 1975.  In 1978 she became Executive Director of the Chemung County Council of Churches and was active in other community organizations.  She joined the Elmira Kiwanis Club.  She was awarded the Hixson Medal, Kiwanis' highest achievement.  Her survivors include her children Cheryl Griffith, Phyllis (Tim) Carlton, Dolores Dishner, Dr. David (Elizabeth) Geldmacher, James (Sabrina) Geldmacher.  Grandchildren Shelley (Gary) Ganaway, Robin and Justin Farrsiar, Elyse (Judah) Baker and Christopher Carlton, John (Sarah) Geldmacher and Kate Geldmacher.  Great-grandchildren Alex, Ariel & Audrey, Ariana, Kiana, and Jace.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Westminster Church, the Council of Churches, Meals on Wheels, Elmira Kiwanis Foundation or the charity of your choice.  Although she liked flowering plants, she did not care for cut flowers which wither and die quickly.  Cut flowers are symbols of death;  plants from bulbs are symbols of resurrection.  Local wild flowers are fine.  Jesus said, "Consider the lilies of the field."  In fulfillment of her childhood dream of going to medical school, her body will go to Upstate Medical to help train future medical practitioners.  

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