Joan Tooker

Obituary of Joan C. Tooker

Life-long Dutchess County resident, Joan C. Tooker graduated to heaven on Friday, November 16th, 2018.  Joan died peacefully at Vassar Brothers Hospital after a lengthy illness, with family members at her side.  Of special note is that Joan passed away on the birthday of her beloved sister Yvonne Lundstedt.

Joan was born on November 5th, 1935 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to Judson and Beatrice Bumpus.  While a young child playing with friends, Joan fell through an opening into the Vassar Brothers Hospital incinerator to an almost certain death, but a Good Samaritan jumped into action and quickly pulled her out of the fire.  Though she suffered terrible burns and endured a long period of painful recovery, the quick action of this selfless young man, Charles Deger, saved her life.

On July 4th, 1953, Joan married Kenneth V. Tooker II, and resided in Pleasant Valley for many years.  Ken and Joan had four children:  Kenneth; Greg; Randy; and Babette.  While the children were young, Joan loved having family get-togethers, and especially with the families of her sisters Yvonne and Sandra.  This included joint family vacations, neighborhood dodgeball, and playing cards around the dining room table.  Joan also loved the outdoors, time at the beach, and was particularly proud of her motorcycling skills and herability to ride up and down stairs!

After graduating from Poughkeepsie High School, Joan worked in food service and retail for most of her adult life.  She managed the Orange Julius location at the South Hills Mall during its heyday, and Luxury Furniture Warehouse in Hyde Park for a few years, before completing her working years at the Galleria Mall, in the furniture department at J.C. Penney’s.  This earned her the moniker of “Grandma Penney’s” to many of her grandchildren.  With great business sense and salesmanship, she was often the top salesperson for Penney’s in the northeast region.

In retirement, Joan enjoyed time with family and friends, and was blessed with nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.  Joan loved the holidays, and having her family and friends gather at her house to celebrate.  In recent years, the family would meet at her home for Mother’s Day, where, instead of taking the day off, she would prepare a feast for the family.  One year, when presented with a Mother’s Day card, she wondered aloud why, in large letters, the card was embossed with “WOW”!  (The card was upside down and she was always reminded of that faux pas!!!)

Joan was predeceased by her sister Yvonne Lundstedt, nephew Quinn Lundstedt, and nephew Jeffrey Sorci.  She is survived by:  sister, Sandra Sorci of Cicero, NY; son, Kenneth V. Tooker III (Allyson) of Poughkeepsie; son, Greg S. Tooker (Jennifer) of Poughkeepsie; son, Randy J. Tooker (Marta) of Pleasant Valley; and daughter, Babette L. Hostetter (Ed) of LaGrange.  Surviving grandchildren are: Lynda, Andrew, Jared, and Michael Tooker; Tyler, Whitney, and Nicholas Hostetter; Danielle Hostetter Carney; and Courtney Hostetter Lee.  Joan’s surviving great granddaughter is Farrah Louise Carney.

Calling hours will be from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Sunday, November 25th at Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  There will be a memorial service at the funeral home at 3:00PM to celebrate Joan’s life for family, friends, and neighbors.  On-line condolences and remembrances may be submitted at

The family would like to express thanks and appreciation to the staffs at The Grand at River Valley Rehabilitation and NursingHome and Vassar Brothers Medical Center for the excellent care provided to Joan for the past few months during her time of declining health.