On March 5, 1933 Joan Marion Otty became the third child born to Willis and Marion Otty at Brady Hospital in Albany, NY. She returned to her home in Castleton at the end of the great depression as World WW II was brewing. She often spoke of visiting Grandpa Otty’s farm in Schodack where the family replenished the pantry and many good times were had. Her brother Russell enlisted in the Navy. She and her dear sister Virginia spent a great deal of time together and in many respects raised their families together. When the kids were young it seemed like her nephew Ed Ryan was the fifth child in the Ennis family.
Joan went to school in Castleton where she was a cheerleader during her high school years. She met a handsome basketball player, Sid Ennis, and married in 1950. By the time she was 27, Joan Ennis had her four children; Steven, Lorie, Wendy, and Colleen and her family was complete. With her baby days behind her, it was time to help support the family. She did this in many ways. She was a wonderful mother who found time along with her dear friend, Dora Jorgenson to lead the Youth Group at Emmanuel Reformed Church. Joan’s children have many fond memories of church camp at Camp Fowler with Mom and Dora.
For several years in the late 1960’s, Joan was the proud proprietor of Joan’s Place, a breakfast and lunch diner on Main Street in Castleton. It was a busy greeting spot when Main Street Castleton was the place to be. She later took her skills to become the dining room manager at the Albany Thruway House Restaurant. While at the Thruway House, she started the next chapter of her life. She worked with and became lifelong friends with Sharon Gale and Patti Westbay.
She met Don Mackay and after a whirlwind courtship he became her second husband.
Joan became the proud grandparent of Brenden and Morgan Ennis, Jesse, Sean, and Nathan Pikula, Brian and Joelle Ashline, Lindsey and Kayla Chatterton, and Casey and Lexi Hicks. Joan always said that she was so happy to have lived long enough to meet and adore her great grandchildren Devin, Owen, Noah, Lilly, and Parker Pikula, Emma, Lucia and Bella Flores and Molly Donovan.
She and Poppy (Don) relished baby sitting and completely spoiling all the grandchildren. In 1997 Joan and Don retired to Largo, Florida where Joan fully enjoyed the next 20 years of her life. She and Don had such a large circle of friends that they jokingly referred to them as winter friends (snowbirds mostly from Canada) and summer friends (year-round residents). Too many friends to name, but among the dearest were Peter and Dale, Tim and Sandy, Dick and Joyce, John and Irene, Malcolm and June, Don and Joan, Chuck and Chris, Marilyn and Bob, and her lifelong friend Jeannie.
When Don passed after a long illness in 2008, Joan started a new chapter of her life as a self-reliant woman who was fiercely independent. She was a proud Democrat whose thoughts and opinions were well known! When Joan decided that it was finally time to relax and be closer to the majority of her grand and great grandchildren, she moved to a senior residence in Cohoes, NY. She was excited to celebrate her 87th birthday in March with many family members and friends. During her final months and while restricted by the Covid-19 quarantine, her daughter Wendy served as her nearly constant, loving companion. When her daughter Lorie retired recently, she too was able to spend a great deal of time helping Mom.
Joan died on May 3, 2020 as a result of an accidental fall and resulting head injury. She will be forever missed but always in the hearts of her many family members and friends. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Hospice or to your favorite charity in Joan’s name.