Joan Rosalie ‘Maman-Maman’ (Willnecker) Lowe | News, Sports, Jobs

Jeanne Rosalie “Mummy mummy” (Willnecker) Lowe, 95, of Altoona, passed away peacefully Tuesday at Graystone Manor in Bellmeade. She was born in Altoona, daughter of the late William Godfrey and Mary Elizabeth (Love) Willnecker.

She married Gerard David Lowe on November 29, 1947, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Altoona. He predeceased her in death on May 12, 2020.

She is survived by five children: Kathleen Ann Gerwert, Joanne Elaine (William F.) DeFrancesco and Claudine Renee Ellick, all of Altoona, Donna Marie (Anthony J.) McFarr of Merritt Island, Florida, and Gerard James (Trisha L .) Lowe of Utahville; 17 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband Gérard; sisters, Patricia Ann Lowe, formerly of Chambersburg and Clara Louise Graupensperger, formerly of Lancaster; son-in-law, James B. Gerwert; and great-grandson, David James “DJ” Gerwert.

Jeanne grew up on “Dutch hill” and lived half a block from Prospect Pool on Second Avenue. She graduated from Altoona Catholic High School in 1944 and served as secretary at the Cal Griffith Agency, which at the time was a major law firm in the region.

She had been dating a childhood friend and neighbor for some time and vowed to await his return from Europe where he served in the military during WWII. A few years after her return, she and Gérard got married and settled in the same neighborhood where she had grown up. She did not work until soon after their marriage and, with the birth of her two and three daughters, decided to become a full-time housewife.

Joan loved bowling throughout her life and was part of many teams and was part of the German club UnterUns in Altoona. She also loved to read and shared countless romance novels with her sisters and friends. Later in life she caught the travel bug, and she and Gerard traveled to Hawaii and several times to Florida, where they eventually bought a winter home and became “Snow birds”. When travel became too difficult, she adopted more sedentary hobbies like watching drama and comedy on television and working on puzzles. In recent years, her favorite show has been about veterinarian Dr. Pol. Joan absolutely loved the Christmas holidays and few could beat her when it came to decorating. Every year, his home on Grant Avenue, then Dixie Lane in Greenwood, transformed into something that looked like Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole!

During this time, Joan was the powerful matriarch of the family. She solved problems, gave advice and was a shoulder to cry on. She was tough when she needed to be tough and soft when needed. She was revered, sometimes feared, but above all loved by all. A proud American, longtime devout Catholic, and loving wife and mother, she will be sadly missed by her family and all who knew her.

Friends will be received from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona. A funeral service will immediately follow at 6 p.m. in the Stevens Memorial Chapel by Pastor John Leatherman. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Condolences can be presented on or Stevens Family Funeral Homes Facebook.

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