Joan Altobelli

  • Born: August 26, 1931
  • Died: April 26, 2020
  • Location: Pelham, New York

Pelham Funeral Home

64 Lincoln Ave
Pelham, NY 10803

Tel. (914) 738-1060

Tribute & Message From The Family

Joan was a woman who gave selflessly to her community, and everyone who she came in contact with.

Joan Altobelli, 88 of Pelham, NY, died peacefully on April 26, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born to the late Henry and Emma Weisgerber on August 26, 1931, in the Bronx, NY. On September 14, 1952 she married Richard Altobelli, and they were blessed with 67 years of marriage. Joan and Richard raised their three children in Pelham, Lois (Ben) Soccodato, John (Rebecca), and Richard Jr. who predeceased her. Joan's love carried on, because she then helped raise her grandchildren, Nicholas, Amy (Raymond) Downs, Richard III, Amanda (Cody) Williams, Anthony, and Samantha (Jamie) Bottomley. Her legacy continued, caring for her precious great grandchildren, Raymond and Charlotte, up until the end. They were her pride and joy.

Joan was a woman who gave selflessly to her community, and everyone who she came in contact with. If you ever strolled down Fifth Avenue, you knew her and were greeted with a warm smile, sincere conversation, delightful sense of humor, and her kind, tender ways. She was a fixture in Pelham, an icon, always giving and caring for everyone. Family was most important to Joan, that was clear. She was always there for her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She baked brownies for her grandson's football team every week for the season. She had a dinner celebration for her other grandson's lacrosse team in the yard at their house. The stories were endless, just like her caring ways. Everyone in the community mattered, they were considered her extended family. Joanie had so much to give...she volunteered to be class mom not only for her children, but also her grandchildren. She continued giving back, assisting the girl scouts, as well as, the senior citizens in Pelham, for which she was a dedicated advocate. Most importantly, she realized there was a void in programs for children and adults with special needs. Joan organized and attended these activities and recreation programs that she implemented twice a week. Every Christmas Joan and her husband organized a Christmas Party, and handpicked gifts with love for each child and adult in the program.

On weekends, Joan would travel to their family farm in Kinderhook, NY., to help plant flowers in the greenhouses, as well as, making delicious meals for the family. She loved the peace and tranquility there, but was eager to get back to Pelham. In her spare time, Joanie loved to knit, crochet, and do needlepoint. She took pride in her exquisite creations, and many people were lucky enough to be gifted her works of art. Joanie was a fabulous cook and enjoyed cooking and sharing her recipes.

Joan's funeral cortege will leave Pelham Funeral Home on Saturday, May 2nd, at 11:00am. The procession will pass St. Catharine's Church, where the church bells will chime and then proceed down Fifth Avenue to honor her memory. The family will have a private service, and interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. There will be a celebration of her life at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pelham Civic Association/Good Neighbors Program in memory of Joan Altobelli. Donations will be given to needy children at Hutchinson Elementary School. Joan's family and friends are devastated at this loss, but know heaven has gained a beautiful angel.


Condolence & Memory Journal


Dear Ritchie, Lois and the Altobelli Family:Our deepest sympathy for your great loss. Joan was such a great part of the Pelham community and a wonderful person to share time with. Gloria Ingrao and Family.

Posted by Gloria Ingrao - Bronxville, NY - Friend   May 24, 2020


"Richie Sr, Lois, John, Richie III and family. We send our heartfelt sympathy to all of you. We will always remember being at "105", the many smiles and jokes we shared and the candid conversations we hads. She was always ready to listen and was so gracious and caring to my family. Joanie, I know you're up there watching over all of us. You are truly missed. We send our love to all of you.
Angela (&Al), Justin, Mary, Amanda and Jack-the Matteos

Posted by Angela Matteo - Dobbs Ferry, NY - Family Friend   May 08, 2020


My deepest condolences for your profound loss. Just reading all of the tributes here is a testament to how loved Joan was. Whenever she came in to the Grand Union in Valatie, NY. I always looked forward to seeing her she always had a smile on her face.. She was always so positive and always asked about my family. She will be deeply missed by so many. To you and the entire Bell family, may you find peace in the days ahead and comfort in knowing that there is an angel looking down from above." She with her angels it was their turn to be with her.. God Bless

Posted by Linda Wildermuth - Niskayuna, NY - Family Friend   May 04, 2020

To Lois, John and Richie, our deepest condolences for your profound loss. Just reading all of the tributes here is a testament to how loved Joan was. Whenever Les and I walked through Pelham during our trips up north, we always looked forward to seeing you, Lois, and your mom. She was always so positive and always asked about my family. She will be deeply missed by so many. To you and the entire Bell family, may you find peace in the days ahead and comfort in knowing that there is an angel looking down from above.

Posted by Roberta Borsella - Charlotte, NC - Friend   May 03, 2020

God bless Joan and her wonderful family. She and Richie were giants in the Pelham community that provided a wholesome environment for thousands of young athletes and students. We will never forget.

Posted by Roland Tiso - Valrico, FL - Friend   May 02, 2020

Dear Altobelli family. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you all. Heaven got another Angel. God bless you guys and I am here whenever you should need.

Posted by Frank (Successful Vision) DePaolo - Pelham, NY - Neighbor   May 02, 2020

Richie, Lois and the entire Altobelli family our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Pelham will never be the same without Mrs. Bell. She sat proudly presiding over 5th Avenue from the front of the stores for many years after dutifully serving the community and its residents in many, many ways. There are not words to capture what she meant to our community. Mrs. Bell will certainly be missed and may she Rest In Peace.

Posted by Michael Volpe - Pelham, NY - Friend   May 02, 2020

Joanie, the lovely Mrs.Bell, was a part of what makes Pelham the friendly neighborhood that it is. Always a smile, a kind word, and a funny story. She was timeless. She made everyone feel like a friend, and never changed in all the years I knew her. Sending my condolences to the Bell family.

Posted by Patricia Maxwell-Stashenko - Stamford, CT - Friend   May 02, 2020

Lois Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and Father Richie. May Joanie rest in peace. Jim and Team at Pelville Coffee Shop

Posted by Jim Evangelos - pelham, NY - Acquaintance   May 01, 2020

Mrs. Bell made this world a lot more beautiful. She was a gift to everyone who had the privilege of knowing her. It's a sad day for Pelham, but her legacy will always live on. She will always hold a special place in my heart. My heartfelt love to the family. You now have a forever angel by your side.

Posted by Joyce Carroll - Pelham, NY - Family Friend   May 01, 2020

There are not enough letters in the small word sorry to capture the sadness for your loss. To the entire Altobelli family we send our condolences. Rest In Peace. Owen, Barbara and family

Posted by Owen Berkowitz - NY - Family Friend   May 01, 2020


Dear Richie---Kindness was Joanie's hallmark, total and to everyone she met. With her own share of pain to bear, she sought out people whom she could help. Rest in peace, Joanie---and know how much we will all miss you. Peace to you, Richie-------Mary Hearle

Posted by Mary Hearle - Pelham, NY - Friend   May 01, 2020

Dear Richard-
Joan was so sweet and her smile so big.
God bless you joan.
Ralph DelGais

Posted by ralph delgais - pelham, NY - Friend   April 30, 2020

Sorry for your loss Lois.

Posted by Elaine Podszus - Village of Pelham, NY - Friend   April 30, 2020

She was a wonderful person, may god bless her. Sincerely Richard & Jean Almstead

Posted by Richard Almstead - Somers, NY - Family Friend   April 30, 2020

The nicest family I grew up with !! Always went in that store when I was little!! I'm still in Shock! Your in a good place now ! Rest be with your son ! May GOD BE WiITH YOU !!

Posted by Crystal Tyson - Bronx, NY - Friend   April 30, 2020

Deepest sympathy to Richie and your family. She was a lovely lady. May she Rest In Peace.

Posted by Kate Collins - Lexington, MA - Friend   April 30, 2020

My Condolence to all the family

Posted by Patrizia Stefanizzi - Pelham, NY - Neighbor   April 30, 2020

Dear Richie, Lois and John, our sincerest condolences to you all. Joan was a beautiful person with nothing but a nice word to say to all. She would always ask about your family and have a kind word. She was fixture on 5th Ave for my whole life. God will have a special seat for her so she can look down over her family. Joan's smile will always be remembered when passing the store on 5th Ave. Our prayers are with you Richie, Lois and John. May she rest in peace. She will not be forgotten by all in Pelham.
Love to you all, Pat, Marie & Patrick Grosso

Posted by Patrick Grosso - White Plains, NY - Family Friend   April 30, 2020

We are heartbroken to hear about Mrs Bell's passing! She was a generous, kind and loving woman with a big heart. We are so sorry for your loss. Pelham has lost a very special person. Rest In Peace dear Mrs Bell. Eva, Fernando and Lars Londono

Posted by Eva Stenskar - Pelham, NY - Acquaintance   April 30, 2020


To Lois and Family, So sorry to hear about Joanie- please know we are thinking of you all and keeping you all in our prayers. She was a great woman- a Pelham Icon. Love to Richie. RIP

Posted by Maureen & Mike Kakos - Little River, SC - Family Friend   April 30, 2020

My sincere condolences to the Altobelli family. May you find peace in knowing that Mrs. Altobelli is peacefully resting in heaven.

Posted by Dereck and Jacqueline Whittenburg - Raleigh, NC - Friend   April 30, 2020


What a big loss, for all of us who knew her, what was Joan not good at, she did it all, She will be missed terribly, it will be sad not to pass by and not seeing her on fifth avenue, She was a good friend, she was funny, she would laugh even through the bad times. Will love and miss her always. The family is in my thoughts and prayers

Posted by Irene Navarro - Yonkers, NY - Family Friend   April 30, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Joan's passing. She was a delightful presence on Fifth Ave. I will miss seeing her with her grandchildren. My sincere condolences to Richie, Lois and the Altobelli family.

Posted by Susan Mutti - Greenwich, CT - Friend   April 30, 2020

She was a beautiful lady. May she Rest In Peace!

Posted by Linda Downs - New Rochelle, NY - Family   April 30, 2020

This write up wonderfully captures the warm, gracious, generous indomitable Joanne Bell spirit! She was a gem!

Posted by Will Cavanagh - Pelham, NY - Friend   April 30, 2020


She spent a great deal of time with me when I was learning to knit my first sweater as a young teen - teaching me how to properly use stitch holders, use a cable needle, etc. I will never forget her kindness and patience. I was very sad to hear of her passing.

Posted by Barbara Haggerty - Pelham, NY - Acquaintance   April 29, 2020

So sad. Loved Ma Bell. She was like a second mother to me. My heart felt condolences to Mr Bell Lois. John and the rest of the family love you all. My prayers are with you. God Bless and know she is with her beloved son Richie in heaven.

Posted by Richard Pereira - Mount Vernon, NY - Family Friend   April 29, 2020

So very sorry the hear this sad news. Mrs. Bell was an incredibly kind, sweet, and talented woman. My condolences to the entire family and she will be in my prayers.

Posted by Karen Mercado - Raleigh, NC - Friend   April 29, 2020

Richie, Lois, John and Grandchildren,

A part of all us will have a void with the passing of Joan. I pray that you are comforted to know that she was loved by so many, for so many years. May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Tom and Janet LaGravinese

Posted by Thomas Lagravinese - Gilbert, AZ - Family Friend   April 29, 2020

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