Joan R. Ersin, age 78, a resident of Troy, passed away December 4, 2013. She was born June 16, 1935 in Detroit to the late Roy and Bernice Long. Mrs. Ersin was the school secretary at North Elementary School, Fuhrmann Junior High School and Sterling Heights High School. She retired in 1995. She was a volunteer at the Leader Dogs for the Blind and the Troy Community Center. She enjoyed traveling with her family and friends. She was also known for hosting wonderful parties for her family and friends. Beloved wife of the late Ron, whom she married August 16, 1952. Loving mother of Tom Norma Ersin and the late Jerry Ersin. Dear sister of the late Jean Dunham. Proud grandmother of seven granddaughters, three great granddaughters and two great grandsons. Visitation Saturday 10 a.m. until the time of the service 1 p.m. at the Wm. Sullivan & Son Funeral Home, 705 W 11 Mile Rd. 4 blks. E of Woodward, Royal Oak. Memorials to the Leader Dogs for the Blind are appreciated. Share your memories at www.sullivanfuneraldirectors.com. Eulogy for Joan Ersin June 16, 1935 to December 4, 2013 During the years my brother Jerry and I played Little League Baseball, my mom was scorekeeper. She was at every game anyway, and this was a great way to help out. When our team needed a manager, she stepped up again. My dad was a good dad, but he was busy and worked afternoons. Mom was the one who made sure Jerry and I knew we were watched over and supported in our childhood activities: baseball, cub scouts, music lessons, the works. She was one of only two woman Little League managers in our league. And she was good - The Warren Rockets won the championship in the Warren Biddy Red League for two years, with only one loss in our last season. My mom was always supportive of all our friends, too, through junior high, high school, and beyond. Our house was a gathering place for Jerry, me, and our crowd. Our friend Bill Siver wrote during her illness: "Tom, I truly think out of all my friends parents, Ron and Joan are my favorites and those memories will be with me forever. I realize we haven't spoken in years, but they are two people I will never forget." Our friend Steve De Andy wrote after she passed: "I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was truly one of us. Every encounter from little league baseball to the crazy growing up high school years and beyond, she was one of us." She was a good friend to her neighbors who knew her. In their heyday, Joan and Ron were involved with their Home Owners Association, and made many friends there. Her next-door neighbor Juanita Pez wrote in the days before Joan passed: "Please give her our love and let her know that, every day I pass her house and wish I could run in and give her a hug. We will miss her more than words can say. I will never forget the silly twists in our conversations that made us laugh until we doubled over. Please give her a kiss from Peter and me. She has been a great friend and neighbor." As most of you know, Joan volunteered quite a bit in her retirement. She worked a lot with the Friends of Troy Seniors Group at the Troy Community Center. Her friend Carla Vaughan wrote: "I first met your mom when she was the assistant manager at Creative Endeavor gift shop here at the Troy Community Center. One day, she, Betty, and I were trying to decide what to order, and Joan suggested some decorative pink flamingo "dusters." I thought, "Who is going to buy those?" Well, we ordered them, and they sold out right away, and we had to order more. They were one of our top sellers! Your Mom went on to pick out many other winners, too. It was great having her volunteer at the store! I will always remember those pink flamingos." Joan also spent many happy hours volunteering at Leader Dogs for the Blind. She loved dogs, and she loved the Leader Dogs mission - a perfect marriage for two of her passions. She often spoke about attending "Graduation Day," the day to celebrate that clients and their new companion dogs have completed their training together and are ready to face the world. I never got to attend one of these, but my mom said that generally, there was not a dry eye in the house. She lived for those moments and those memories of satisfaction from helping others. Maureen McWalters, a supervisor at Leader Dogs wrote to Joan in October: "Dear Joan,
I heard the news from Jan this morning that you are now in hospice care. And, of course, she told how you are still living in the midst of this a�" going out to lunch, shopping at the gift shop. You are my hero a�" so brave. I just want to let you know that the way you are living in the face of cancer is touching me. You are still smelling the roses, loving your family, and caring about Leader Dogs for the Blind. May I be so brave and full of grace when my time draws near. Thank you dear one!" Maureen also wrote me after hearing the news of Joan's passing: "We at Leader Dogs for the Blind are very grateful for your mother's many years of service and her incredible heart for this organization and its mission. Next week is our annual holiday volunteer appreciation event, and this will be the first time since this event has happened that your mother will not be with us. Her many friends that she has served with over the years will miss her. Do you know that just six weeks ago she was with the group working on a mailing? And just a month or so ago, she had Jan bring her to Leader Dogs so she could finish her Christmas shopping at the gift shop! It has been a privilege to know your mother. I hope you know how much we honor her life." Joan had, not just many friends, but many best friends. It seemed that whenever she hung out with friends or talked to me about them, each one was special to her. I will not attempt to list them because I know I would miss a few and feel guilty for a long, long time. But you all know who you are. She loved you all, and I thank you for loving her. She maintained a full life, even after my dad died, and her friends were a major reason for that. Mom loved her family with a passion: from her granddaughters, Angie, Stacey, and Jessie - Jerry's 3 daughters - and her long-lost grandson, Matt, who was instantly family again from the day he looked up his biological sisters on the Internet and found us after 20-some years; from her granddaughters, Jennifer and D'An, my beautiful daughters; her grandson-in-law Mike; her granddaughters Sarah and Abby; her great grandchildren, Michael, Amy, Kara, Noah, and Cody; and her granddog Bob Barker. Extended family sometimes has a way of drifting apart over time, but Joan put a lot of effort into preventing that. The Potters and the Eanes and the Longs and the Goodens and the Rittenhouses and the Millers; and the Burkes and Fitzhenrys on my dad's side, and other family names that I apologize for not coming to mind, all meant a lot to her, and she made great effort at keeping in touch and hosting get-togethers. Finally, one of my greatest life's blessings is that I had a mother and a wife who not only got along, but became very close friends. They went on many wonderful two-woman trips - when people thought I was crazy because I didn't want to go. They spent many hours at lunch, on the phone, and in Mom's sun room. They worked together tirelessly to take care of get-togethers and funerals - whatever needed to be done. I have no idea how I would have gotten through my mom's illness and passing without Norma. Words cannot express my gratitude. And I know she did it for Joan just as much as she did it for me. Mom, your passing has left great sorrow in many, many people. But your living has left an even greater amount of thanks and love for what you have given to all who knew you - and the many more who only knew and benefitted from your good works. You will be missed.