Riess, Joan

Riess, Joan A,

Riess, Joan Arlene, age 90, of Kettering passed away on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. She was born on January 2, 1933 in Shelby, Ohio to the late Charles and Dolores (Freese) Payne. Also preceding her in death is her loving husband of 61 years, George; her sister Sally (Payne) Kirchner, her daughter Mary Riess, and her granddaughter Rhiannon Riess. Joan is survived by her children, John (Kari) Riess, Michael (Rhonda) Riess, Sally Barney, Daniel Riess, Joseph (Heidi) Riess; 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and many friends.

Joan graduated from St. John's College in Cleveland with a degree as a registered nurse. For the rest of her life she made full use of the lessons learned about caring for others. She displayed extraordinary compassion for the poor, elderly, and developmentally disabled, welcoming them into her home and tending to their special needs. For over half a century, Joan, along with her husband, George, aided refugees from Cuba, Vietnam, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and Cameroon, helping them find housing, employment, educational opportunities, legal aid, babysitting their children, and lending a sympathetic ear to their often harrowing stories of escape. As a result of her efforts, countless people knew her as "mom" and "grandma" during her long life.

Friends and family may visit from 4-7pm on Friday, October 6 at Westbrock Funeral Home in Kettering. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10am on Saturday, October 7 at Emmanuel Catholic Church in Dayton. She will then be laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Semacom Foundation of Dayton, Ohio or the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) Missions of Corpus Christi, Texas. To leave a tribute, please visit westbrockfuneralhome.com.

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