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Joan Kienast Wingate Bittermann

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Joan Kienast Wingate Bittermann Obituary
"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. Khalil Gibran" JOAN KIENAST WINGATE BITTERMANN Age 78, of Canyon Lake, California, peacefully departed from our world on February 19, 2015. She was the only child born to the late Anna and John Kienast of River Edge, New Jersey. She is survived by Rolland Bittermann, her husband of 28 years, who cared for Joan throughout her long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. With great sorrow and loss, her children and grandchildren, Sharon Wingate of Temecula, California, Susan and Lance Wankier of La Costa, California, along with their children Alex, Dane and Nicholas Wankier, Sandra Wingate of Temecula, California, and her children Collin and Cassidy La Mair, John and Sara Wingate of San Diego, California, along with their children Brighton and Davis Wingate, as well as stepdaughter, Karrie Wesner of Oak Park, California and her daughter, Samantha Owens, have tremendous gratitude for the warmth, wisdom and laughter that Joan shared with her family. Joan also leaves behind cousins, who were like siblings to her: Judith Restaino (Pennsylvania), Barbara Traficant (New Jersey), David Kienast (New Jersey) and Jeannie Kummler (Michigan), all of whom grew up with her knowing her intelligence, poise, grace and determination. Her loss is grieved by her nieces and nephews, cousins and God children, Earle Francis Wingate III (Pittsfield, New Hampshire), Karen Mar Wingate (Colchester, Vermont) and Kenneth Albrecht (San Diego, California) and in-laws, Sharon and Stan Kindig of Palmdale, California. Joan will always be cherished as a devoted wife, mother, and friend, and remembered as a kind leader, a role-model, and courageous trailblazer. If a job needed doing, Joan was as capable, willing, and energetic a visionary as one could ask for. Her kids called her "The Rock of Gibraltar." Joan was a natural athlete who enjoyed water sports her whole life. She slalom waterskied until her 70's, and could always be found executing a perfect dive off the boat she shared with Rolly at their home in Canyon Lake, California. Many friends surrounded them as they enjoyed boating, skiing, camping and golfing in their retirement. Joan also had a tremendous love for animals, especially dogs, and always shared her home with at least one beloved canine. Joan touched many, many lives through her passions. She was a gifted athlete, both playing and coaching girls' soccer for many years. This brought her to her work as the Public Relations Manager for the Los Angeles Skyhawks, a professional soccer team owned by Nordskog Industries. She and Rolly met while both working for Nordskog. Her energy and organizational skills tapped her for local leadership and planning when the Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984. When the soccer team disbanded, she continued working for Nordskog Industries, a leading manufacturer of airline galleys, where her natural people skills shined in customer service. She eventually retired from Adams-Rite Aerospace as a well-respected and innovative employee. Joan had a natural affinity and appreciation for nature and gardening. In every home she lived, she had beautiful roses, flowers, fruits and vegetables. What she grew was plentiful, and always shared with others. Her bearded iris which were transplanted from her home in New Jersey now grace the golf course gardens at Canyon Lake. Rolly was able to surround her with a beautiful garden to enjoy, full of flowers, succulents and cacti as Joan's life became more homebound and sheltered. Her many lifelong friends would include her sorority sisters of Kappa Alpha Theta from her chapter at University of Vermont (1957), as well as the friendships she shared from her soccer teams in the San Fernando Valley, California, and the many golf friendships of Canyon Lake, California. As important are the many friends of her children to whom she was like a second mother, and who frequently visited the Wingate home in Woodland Hills, California, for many, many years of laughter, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging. They all knew that her front door was never locked. Alzheimer's disease slowly takes what is most precious of a person's life: their memories, their connections to people, and their laughter. It is testimony to Joan's life that, to us, her vibrancy and kindness will not be forgotten in ours. A private Celebration of Life will be held on March 14, 2015. Please contact [email protected] for more information. Although flowers were cherished by Joan, a donation in her honor to the is greatly appreciated.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Mar. 8, 2015
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