Born Joan Catherine Sanders in Emmitsburg, MD on June 26, 1928, she was the daughter of James Clarence Sanders and Mary Catherine Sanders (nee Rider), Joan was one of 10 children. Some of her happiest memories were growing up on a farm with her siblings; later when her brothers left the farm, the three youngest girls moved to town and lived with their parents in the house her dad built from a Searss kit. Joan graduated from St Josephs High School and worked in the kitchen of St Josephs College and the Sisters of Charity residence that served the college.
On September 3, 1949, Joan married Harold Leroy Ditzler. She raised her six daughters and later 2 adopted sons in a devout Catholic home. Besides being a busy mom, she also worked as a waitress for her in-Laws, Mel and Rosie Ditzler at Ditzlers Restaurant in Biglerville PA, later she became a cook and continued working there when the Restaurant changed hands and became Glens Diner. Even then, she wasnt ready to retire, so she worked part time for Janes Catering.
Joan is survived by her daughters, Catherine (Delbert W) Roth, Victoria Gonce (Lionel Weeks), Melissa (Thomas) Esserwein, Lucinda (Robert) Heistand, Mary Joan (Elbert) Botham and Barbara (Jeffrey) Holcomb, their children and grandchildren as well as her youngest sister, Marianne Brady.
She was preceded in death by her parents, several brothers and sisters, her husband, Harold and her sons, Kevin and Patrick.
Joan was an excellent cook, loved vegetable gardening and had a green thumb for indoor plants. She is especially treasured for gathering family together and preparing wonderful meals for summer reunions. She was a member of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic church in Gettysburg, but her heart belonged to St Josephs Catholic Church in Emmitsburg from which she had hoped to be buried.
Due to Covid 19, the family will gather at a future date to celebrate her life.
We, her daughters wish to extend special thanks to the staff at Spiritrust Lutheran Home and Dr. Mcloughlin for all the loving care they provided for our mother. We also wish to thank Father Charles from Emmitsburg for his many visits over the years.
This obituary was orginally published here.