Johanna B. Rodriguez
, 86, of Fanwood, New Jersey, passed away on April 15, 2019, with her family by her side. Born Johanna Marie Buchholtz in 1932 in Bayonne, N.J., Johanna graduated from Bayonne High School and received a B.A. from Glassboro State College and an M.A. from Kean College. She completed additional post-graduate work at Trenton State University.
She married José B. Rodriguez, and they lived together in Fanwood surrounded by a close-knit community of wonderful neighbors for 60 years. Johanna was predeceased by her husband in 1998. She is survived by two children: Lisa, of Glen Gardner, N.J. and David, of Englewood, N.J. She is also survived by her devoted daughter-in-law, Pam Wiest, and many loving family members, friends and neighbors who filled her life with joy and purpose. Especially close to her heart were the young people who filled her life with delight, Félix and Héctor Vaquero del Pino, and Lily and Julia Eriksson.
Johanna’s children are enormously grateful for the medical professionals, aides, family and friends who joined together in their mother’s care over the course of her illness.
Johanna was a passionate educator and advocate for children who taught special education and was a learning consultant in Linden, Plainfield and Roselle Park. She was later an adjunct professor at Kean College. She served for ten years on the N.J. Child Placement Review Board and was a past president of both the N.J. Retirees’ Education Association and the N.J. Association of Learning Consultants. In addition, she served as a trustee of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Educational Enrichment Foundation and was a volunteer for over 15 years at Atlantic Hospice.
Johanna loved music and the arts, a trait she passed along to both of her children. She was an enthusiastic traveler and even visited China, fulfilling a lifelong dream. She will be greeted in heaven by the rescued dogs who were part of her life for over 60 years—all looking to sit on her lap at the same time.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Faith Lutheran Church Memorial Fund (using the address above) or to Atlantic Home Care and Hospice (465 South Street, Suite 100, Morristown, N.J. 07960, or visit https://overlookfoundation.org/online-donations/ and select Homecare and Hospice from the list provided).
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