Joan Alice Fles

Joan Alice Fles, age 95, of Truesdale Lake, South Salem, NY died Friday August 6, 2021. 

Born on January 17, 1926.  Joan was raised on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.  She was one of six and the daughter of German immigrants Albert and Minnie (Bautz) Appel. As a teen, she worked at a Drive In, wearing roller skates, and serving Black Cows, (her favorite summer dessert), skating from car to car.

Roller skates left behind Joan relocated to NY. She studied to become an RN which was a requirement for becoming a stewardess for American Airlines. Hosting trans- oceanic flights to Europe and beyond to Saudi Arabia, where she met her pilot husband to be, Captain Jack. They married on December 20, 1955, in Flushing NY and soon moved to the Hamlet of South Salem, NY.  Joan learned to swim in Truesdale Lake and enjoyed sunning in the yard of their lakefront home.  She loved dancing and took ballet lessons for years. Always learning, Joan at the age of 55 enrolled at SUNY Purchase, beginning a degree in Hebraic Studies, and then achieving a Fine Art degree.  After the death of their son Tom, Joan found comfort in oil painting. She sold and donated many of her works in the area, hanging in local restaurants and galleries while remembering Tom through artistic expression.

Nurse Joan and Captain Jack were fixtures in the Truesdale Lake Community, weathering both the storms and joys of life.  Nurse Joan spent many an afternoon tending wounds of one sort or another, teens and the elderly finding comfort in her tender care. With her strong commitment and unwavering faith, she and Captain Jack made their home a haven for many. 

Joan was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and was a regular student of scripture and daily prayer. Remembering Joan, 3 words come to mind, faith, perseverance and discipline.

Joan is survived by 2 sons; Jack and wife Becky of Gardiner, Maine, and their 3 children Keegan, Broghann and Jacob; and son Bob and wife Donna of Somers, New York, and their 3 children Jessica and husband Jordan Rossi, John, James, and Great-Grandson Christian Robert Rossi.

Joan and Jack, and the family home were the consistency and glue of the Fles family. She was a gracious hostess and enjoyed creating elegant meals

A small graveside memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 1:00 PM, to lay her ashes to rest next to her husband Jack and son Tom, in the South Salem Cemetery.

Joan will be forever loved and missed. We are grateful for the lasting impression she has left on our lives.