Spanning Three Centuries of Service

16 Shea Place ~ New Rochelle, NY 10805

P: (914) 632-2700

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Joan E. Alvarez

Joan E. Alvarez

We are saddened to report that Joan E. Alvarez, a long-time resident of Riverdale, passed away on August 7th at the age of 88.

Born Joan Emily to parents Frederick and Doris in Sydney, Australia, she swam against the tide for young ladies at a time when her classmates were expected to learn a trade or get married after high school. After graduating from the University of Sydney with a BS and MS in Chemistry, Joan traveled the world.

Newlyweds Joan and Manuel Alvarez immigrated to the United States in 1960 and settled in Riverdale. Joan was a role model for many women in the 1960s, working nights while raising her three young children during the day.

Joan was highly educated. She worked as a biochemist and then as the supervisor of the clinical chemistry labs at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital for over 25 years, afterwards working in toxicology for the pharmaceutical industry until retiring in 1996.

Like all Australians, she loved the ocean, and spent family vacations on the beach bodysurfing. But her favorite past-time, beginning at age four, was reading. She was never without a book in her hand. Joan was a kind and beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She will be greatly and mournfully missed.

Those wishing to make a gift in her memory may consider organizations related to Spinal Muscular Atrophy, such as Cure SMA (

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