Cover photo for Joan B. Trate's Obituary
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Joan B. Trate

February 28, 1934 — November 14, 2023


Joan B. Trate

DANVILLE - Joan B. (Johnson) Trate, 89, formerly of Milton, passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, in Geisinger’s Palliative Care Unit, Danville, with her husband Jay of 71 years and her family by her side. Theirs is a love story.

Joan was born on Feb. 28, 1934, in Milton, a daughter of the late Parson B. and Mary Elvena (Neuhard) Johnson. She was a 1952 graduate of Milton High School and a member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milton.

On Nov. 15, 1952, she married the love of her life, Jay N. Trate, who survives.  They lived and raised their children on Poplar Ave in Milton for 37 years, staying close to their parents, brothers and sisters and friends before moving to Bloomsburg in 1989 to retire to a lovely farm in the countryside where she lived next door to her daughter DeAnne and son-in-law, Jerry Casteel, and their children. Joan loved her Mainville neighbors and over the years they embraced Joan and Jay as part of their own family. 

For the past ten years Joan resided with her daughter and son-in-law, Mary Jayne and Leroy (Mo) Reibsome, Jr., her care partners, who live near Joan’s son Mikel and his wife Wanda (Reibsome) Trate, all of Danville. Throughout her life, Joan was surrounded by family, friends and neighbors who were always there to support her when she needed them, as she supported them. 

For most of Joan’s life, she was self-employed as a gifted seamstress and lovingly sewed beautiful clothing for her family, friends and clients. From coats, hats, handbags and teddy bears to prom dresses, wedding gowns, Bicentennial, Halloween, and Bloomsburg High School musical costumes, she used her creativity and talents for the benefit of all.  Joan also worked at Williams’ Market, Trate’s Texaco, and The Wall Paper Store, Milton.

Joan was a kind and genuine person, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, friend, a fantastic cook, a clever problem- solver, and a devout Christian woman. She was a fantastic role model and taught her children and grandchildren to always think positively even in adverse situations and to always be kind and compassionate to others.

Wherever they resided Joan and Jay always had a big garden that they tended with care, and they canned the fruits and veggies from the harvest every year of their life. At 89, Joan was still snapping string beans and making her favorite strawberry jelly.

 Joan was an avid Penn State and Steelers fan and loved watching the Little League World Series. Her favorite color was purple, and she enjoyed playing Scrabble, making crafts and playing Solitaire on her Kindle accompanied by a perfect cup of tea and a dark chocolate candy kiss.

She will be missed by all who knew her and her humor and kindness will be fondly remembered by those lives she touched as she journeyed through her life.

Joan was preceded in death by her sister Marguerite (Johnson) Ruth, Milton, and brothers Charles (Bud) Johnson, Milton, and Leon Johnson, Erie.

Besides her husband Jay, her children and their spouses, Joan is survived by seven grandchildren Sarah (Abdellah) Smichi, Lindsay (Chad) Barry, Brad (Heidi) Trate, Alicia (Janice) Jones, Jocelyn (Ben) Jamison, Mary (Chris) Holdren, Christopher (Thelma) Reibsome; 13 great-grandchildren Alex, Aliyah, Declan, Archer, Logan, Kole, Ethan, Hailey, Zachery, Wyatt, Xavier, Ysabella, Gideon; and one great-great grandchild, Oaklin.

Donations in Joan’s memory may be made to her favorite charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Columbia/Montour Meals on Wheels program at 702 Sawmill Rd, Ste 201, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. 

In lieu of flowers, please hug your loved ones and tell them you love them every day.

Following Joan’s wishes, there will be no services. The family will celebrate her life at a later date.  Arrangements are being handled by Dale Ranck Cremation & Funeral Care, 125 N Front St, Milton.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan B. Trate, please visit our flower store.


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