Her Story

Joan “Joanie” Rissmeyer, of Safe and Secure Assisted Living in Crestview, Florida, entered into rest on Sunday, March 12th, 2017. She was 83. Daughter of the late Harold and Anne Marsh, she was born March 19, 1933 in Paterson, New Jersey. She married the love of her life, Ernest Rissmeyer on November 29th, 1952 who she met on a blind date a year earlier. Together, they raised five children.

Joan was an avid poet in her early years, with multiple writings being published in the Ramsey Journal. Like her hero Joan of Arc, who she wrote many poems about, she herself faced and conquered many battles in her life. Joan had brain surgery (In 1969) for seizures, allowing her to get a driver license at age 36. Years later, she began an insurmountable battle against Alzheimer’s, which she courageously fought for 14 years.

Her favorite hobbies included watching the New York Mets, bird watching, long walks, berry picking, wood working, and doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She had a natural talent for growing plants and sold countless African Violets. Her green thumb attracted the attention of many travelers who stopped to take pictures of her breath-taking flower beds, including a magazine photographer. Coffee, mint ice cream and mint Girl Scout cookies topped her list of treats. Back in the day, her television favorites included Jack Lalanne (godfather of modern fitness), Jeopardy, Days of Our Lives, and The Price is Right. During annual vacations to Rhode Island she loved standing in the ocean, boldly conquering the waves. Her employment included working for various florists and retail stores.

On behalf of Joan, her family would like to thank the incredible staff at Safe and Secure, for their loving care during her final chapter of Alzheimer’s. There are simply not enough words for the degree of compassion, dignity, and tender loving care delivered by Sandy Tingle and her entire staff at Safe and Secure. Joan’s family would also like to thank the staff at Westwood and Destin Healthcare for their role in her long journey.

Survivors include her husband of 64 years, Ernest Rissmeyer, children- Karen Sherrod, Ruth Sharp and husband Russell, Donna Skurnick and husband David, Maryann Makekau and husband Chuck, Ernie Rissmeyer and wife Dawn, siblings- Ronald Marsh and wife Peggy, Lorraine Wolverton, Lenny Marsh and wife Dot, sister-in-laws Arlene Rissmeyer and Margaret Pilson with husband Bill, 9 grand children and 8 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial service and reception will be held at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 550 Adams Drive, Crestview, Florida on Saturday March 18th at 9 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Joan’s name to Safe and Secure, at 3091 Skyline Drive, Crestview, Florida 32539.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Safe and Secure, the 8-bed care home where Joan lived and her husband Ernie still resides. In Joan’s honor, all contributions will be used to upgrade the bathroom layouts at Safe and Secure, thereby easing activities of daily living (specifically bathroom, shower and toileting).

Alzheimer’s affects the lives of millions of individuals, stealing memories and abilities throughout the entire course of the disease. These improvements will go a long way in continuing to provide the extraordinary and compassionate care Joan received in the final chapter of her life.

You can donate online below or mail contributions to:

Safe and Secure Assisted Living

Re: Joan Rissmeyer

3091 Skyline Drive

Crestview, FL 32539