Obituary of Joan Lapin
Joan Sally Lapin of New Canaan, Connecticut, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, May 8, 2023, after a long illness. She was 88. Her family and friends mourn the loss of a beloved wife, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.
Joan was a lifelong resident of New Canaan. She was born at Norwalk Hospital on February 2, 1935, the second daughter of Hannah and Leo Rosen. When she was eleven, Joan's parents built a house on Grace Street, where the family moved from the home they'd been renting on Lakewood Avenue. She lived in that house for the rest of her life.
When Joan was sixteen, she was set up on a double date with her sister Roberta. The young man she was matched with, Harvey Lapin, was a 24-year-old army veteran from Stamford who was reluctant to date such a youngster. But for reasons unknown, there was a second date, and Harvey was smitten.
Following graduation from NCHS in 1952, Joan headed off to UConn to study music. But only a few months in, her father Leo, only 48, fell ill with multiple myeloma. Joan left college to help in the family store, Rosen Brothers Food Market. Joan and Harvey moved up their planned wedding to ensure that Leo could be there. They were married in the back yard on Grace Street on May 24, 1953. After Leo passed away, Joan and Harvey decided to remain in the family home with Hannah (who went by Helen). Harvey and his mother-in-law ran the business while Joan worked the checkout.
Between 1954 and 1960, Joan and Harvey had three children, Lauren, Susan and Steven, who grew up under the watchful eye of their grandmother, aka "Bubbi", when Mom and Dad were at the store. At age 42 Joan became a grandmother and age 66 she became a great-grandmother.
Joan was devoted to her home town, and her many local friends; volunteering and participating in any number of town activities, classes at Waveny, Town Players, and creating the New Canaan Jewish Women's Group with her friend Bette Chachkes. She pursued her love of singing in the choirs of Agudath Sholom and Temple Beth El in Stamford. She was an accomplished pianist and loved to play the Steinway grand she installed in the living room. She loved her gardens and was always seen trimming shrubs or pulling weeds. She loved her daily walks and continued to do so until her final year.
By 2017 it became apparent that Joan was experiencing cognitive difficulties and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In late 2018, Leslie George, a caregiver of uncommon skill and empathy met Joan. From that day until Joan's passing she and Leslie were inseparable.
Joan is survived by her husband Harvey; her sister Roberta (Ernest) Scheller, Jr.; children Lauren Solomon (Leonard) of Concord, MA, Susan Lapin of Suffolk, VA, and Steven Lapin (Allison) of Sharon, MA and Jerusalem, Israel; grandchildren Mathew and Jacob Solomon, Jessica (Pat) Richardson and Johanna (Joshua) Cryder, and Uriel Lapin; great-grand-children Benjamin and Shanley Richardson, Adriel Camacho, and Robert and Samuel Cryder; and caregiver Leslie George.
The funeral will be held at 12 noon, Thursday, May 11, at Agudath Sholom Cemetery, 554 West Hill Road Stamford, CT. The family’s home at 16 Grace St., New Canaan, will be open to visitors on Thursday and Friday, May 11-12, from 2 – 7pm.
A bench at Mead Park will be dedicated in Joan’s memory. Checks made out to Town of New Canaan may be sent to Joan’s Memorial, 16 Grace St., New Canaan, CT 06840. Alternatively, donations in Joan’s memory may be made to Meals on Wheels of New Canaan or Chabad New Canaan Jewish Center.