Joan Vastbinder

Obituary of Joan "Jo-an" Vastbinder

Joan “Jo-an” Vastbinder, 91, of Freehold, died Thursday, September 26, 2019.  Joan was born in Oak Park, IL on June 25, 1928.  She was the only child of Harold and Esther (Schneider) Back.  She grew up in the Oak Park and River Forest suburbs of Chicago, graduating from Oak Park-River Forest High School, where she was active in many clubs.  She attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.  She returned for many reunions over the years with her life-long friends.   She also attended the Katharine Gibbs School, and was a pro at shorthand.  In her early career, she was a secretary at several corporations in Chicago, including NBC and Arthur Andersen.  

Throughout her life, Joan was involved in many volunteer activities, including being a Girl Scout leader, a member of the Freehold Township Women’s Club, a member of the Freehold Area branch of AAUW, and held various positions over the years with these clubs.  She was a member of Old Tennent Presbyterian Church for over 40 years.  She volunteered at Freehold Area Open Door in the afterschool program for many years and enjoyed helping the children with their homework.   She was an avid reader and enjoyed playing bridge, watching horse races, bowling in several leagues, and traveling with her family.  

Joan is predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Charles Vastbinder.  She is survived by her three daughters, Gail Giacobbe and her husband Arthur of Wall, Gwen Majercak and her husband John of Conway, MA, and Laura Vastbinder and her husband Dr. Thomas Trojian of Philadelphia, PA; five grandchildren and a grand son-in-law, Lauren Barbieri and her husband Angelo, Elise Giacobbe, Nate Trojian, Sara Majercak, and Kalina Majercak; as well as nieces, a nephew and their families.

 Visitation is from 11 am. to 1 pm. Monday, September 30 at Higgins Memorial Home, 20 Center St. Freehold.  Burial will immediately follow at Old Tennent Cemetery, Tennent.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Joan’s memory to Freehold Area Open Door, Inc., After School Program Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1073, Freehold, N.J. 07728.  To send condolences, please visit