Cover photo for Joan Marie Margaret Battaglin's Obituary
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1938 Joan 2024

Joan Marie Margaret Battaglin

November 9, 1938 — January 2, 2024

Joan Battaglin passed away peacefully at home with her family on Jan 2 2024. She was born to Marie and Roy Harmer in Chicago IL on Nov 9, 1938. Her life was one of learning, mentoring, teaching, family and music.


She graduated from Fenger High School in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago at age 16 and University of Illinois Normal (Teachers College) at age 20. In her senior year of high school she met the love of her life Robert Battaglin. They married just after her college graduation in June 1959. Joan taught 1st grade for the next 4 years in Flossmoor IL, supporting her husband while he finished grad school.


In 1964 they moved to Corning NY, where they lived for the next 30 years except for short periods in State College PA, Minneapolis MN and Acton MA. Her adopted son David was born in 1965, quickly followed by her daughter Karin in 1966. When her children were young, she worked part time as a substitute teacher and was a founding reporter for the Finger Lake Chronicles, under which she wrote a definitive piece on the consolidation of the rural school districts into a single Corning School District. In 1995 she completed her Masters in Education/Reading Specialist degree at Elmira College. After that she worked for the Corning school district for 20 years as a Special Education teacher, School Psychologist, Director of Communications and the Clerk of the school board. She loved working with young children and their families and one of her proudest achievements was working to open what is now the Nonnie Hood Parenting Resource Center in 1988. After retirement in 1995 she continued to work with children through tutoring and volunteering in preschools and elementary schools until 2019. She was a gifted and dedicated teacher.


She and her husband Bob were truly a team for their 65 years of marriage. Together they raised their children, volunteered in many ways in their community and church, sang in choirs and community choral groups, traveled widely in the US and Europe including a special trip with her son David and his wife Svetlana to Svetlana's home country of Slovakia, hiked the woods of western North Carolina, collected art and antiques, enjoyed life in Chautauqua NY, started and joined discussion groups, books clubs and play reading clubs. She loved her grandchildren dearly and was so proud of them. She and Bob together instilled in them a love of the outdoors, sledding, game nights, silly songs and family life. They were blessed to have such a loving and involved grandmother. Even in her final years, living with Alzheimer's, Joan continued to love keeping up with her family, doing puzzles and listening to music. In her final week she enjoyed singing the familiar hymns at a Christmas Eve service.


Joan was predeceased by her parents and two older brothers Robert Harmer and Rodney Harmer. She is survived by her husband Bob Battaglin, her son David Battaglin and daughter-in-law Svetlana, her daughter Karin Dusenbury and son-in-law Eric, her three grandchildren Max, Grace and James Dusenbury, and countless friends whose lives she has touched.


The family would like to thank the staff at Benton House Decatur and the staff of Symposium Hospice Decatur for their care of Joan in her final year.


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

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