Toms River: MARY “JOANN” SALEK, 74, passed away Saturday, April 6, 2019. Joann was born November 15, 1944 in Pittsburgh, PA to the late Margaret Elizabeth and John Heisler, Sr. Sister to the late John Heisler, Jr. and his wife Dee, sister to the late Phyllis Duncan and survived by her brother-in-law Jack Duncan. Sister in law to Al and Diane Aimone and Donna Salek. Joann also leaves behind her husband, William “Bill” Salek, of 25 years, son Richard Lee Sauter, Jr., Daughter Amy Jo Sauter, Daughter Nancy Jo Duffy and husband Charles Joseph Duffy, Jr., son-in-law Robert Salek and daughter-in-law Anne Zorn-Harrison and seven grandchildren: Charles Joseph Duffy III, Michael Patrick Duffy, Matthew Ryan Duffy, Joley Elizabeth Motter, Joseph Salek, Abby Zorn and Emily Zorn. Joann has many nephews and nieces as well.
Joann’s first taste of success was being inducted to the Honor Society while she attended St. Basil’s High School. She started a family in Pittsburgh and in the late 70’s she moved with her two daughters to Virginia where she made a career for herself. While living in Virginia, she took on managerial positions in which she received many accolades and promotions allowing her to succeed in the professional world. A career opportunity relocated Joann and her daughters to Pompton Lakes NJ in 1986. In the early-nineties Joann met Bill Salek in a support group, Beginning Experience and they married shortly thereafter. Together they branched out and led their own home group for those who needed a place to heal and the tools to move on.
Joann and Bill moved to Randolph NJ and together they founded Little Oak Learning and Developmental Center. This was a not-for-profit school and day care that provided nurturing support and education for children in the Succasunna and Randolph area. Joann and Bill dedicated their lives to making sure that even those who had nothing received support that extended beyond the classroom. They followed this passion for roughly 20 years as they poured their hearts into countless families and lived very humble lives in doing so. They moved to Frankford New Jersey in 1999.
Joann and Bill retired in 2014 and that is when her health issues became such a challenge.
In 2017, they moved to a retirement community in Toms River NJ. Joann fought a long battle with diabetes, PAH, and scleroderma. She not only educated herself on these diseases but had also shared her vast knowledge with her doctors who will better handle future cases as a result.
In her final years she lived her life to the fullest by spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, crafting, dancing, entertaining, fundraising, and most recently her involvement with the Homestead Run Ladies Club. She cherished her life in spite of the battles that she faced. She poured her heart into her family and many loved ones and will be leaving a huge hole in their hearts. We will be holding a Memorial Mass in Joann’s honor on April 27, 2019 at 12:00 pm at St. Jude the Apostle Church - 4 Beaver Run Rd, Hamburg NJ, followed by a light lunch fare in the Parish hall. The family requests that the attendees wear bright and vivid colors to her mass instead of the traditional black. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Joann’s latest passion: Women’s Charity Club at Homestead Run. There will be a donation basket in the Parish hall or you can mail your donation to 100 Fireside Blvd., Toms River, NJ 08755 c/o Shirley. Funeral arrangement were under Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals 145 St. Catherine Blvd. Toms River, NJ. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com.