Obituary of Joan Bisso
Joan Bisso, born Joan Ward Cosgrove, peacefully passed away, with friends and family at her side, at the age of 94 in Syracuse, NY on March 15, 2022. Joan was born in the city of Englewood, New Jersey on January 27, 1928, to Charles Demarest and Elizabeth Carroll Cosgrove. After graduating from Closter High School in Closter, NJ, Joan worked as a legal secretary in New York City. She also taught dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, where she met Henry William Korteling (Bill). Soon after, Joan and Bill married, and Bill joined the United States Army. In the years that followed, they raised three children: Robert (Bruce), Sandra, and Karyn. The family traveled to and lived in many distant places, including Europe and Iran, eventually settling in Skaneateles, NY, in 1969.
Joan remarried many years later to Rev. Frederick Bisso, and the two relocated to Auburn, NY in 1982. After Frederick’s passing, Joan relocated again to Cayuga and finally to Union Springs, NY, where she made many life-long friendships and lived many happy, independent years.
During her years in Cayuga County, Joan was a long-time member of the Auburn Methodist Church, where she sang for many years in their choir. Over the years, Joan became a well-known soloist who performed countless times for many church and private events. Joan was a gifted pianist who often performed for musical events, or simply entertained her family and friends from her endless songbook memory. She prided herself on having a “musical ear” that allowed her to play any number of pieces without reference to sheet music. At her passing, she was lifted to the music of Ella Fitzgerald’s version of “Over the Rainbow.”
Joan was kind-hearted, elegant with words, and funny. She was a great believer that humor provided life with buoyancy and happiness. She adored David Letterman and never forgave him for retiring from network television.
Joan is survived by her children, Bruce Korteling and his longtime partner Elizabeth Egan, Sandra Grieve and her husband Bill Grieve, Karyn Korteling and her husband Frank Fleischman, and her grandchildren, Ryland and Rachel Heagerty , Jennifer Korteling, Dylan and Shana Fleischman. She was predeceased by her husbands, Henry William Korteling and Rev. Frederick Bisso, her grandson Matthew Korteling, and her brother Charles David Cosgrove.
Joan’s Memorial Service is private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Joan’s name to:
The Cayuga County Office for the Aging, Senior Nutrition Program (https://www.cayugacounty.us/592/Home-Delivered-Meals)
The next time you pass through Auburn, be sure to visit the Auburn Diner for a piece of pie and a cup of coffee in honor of Joan in what is lovingly known as “Joan’s Booth.”