New York 1

Joan Ann Sayre

October 9, 1937 ~ July 16, 2019 (age 81)


Joan Ann Sayre, 81, of 308 E 30th St. NYC, NY, passed away peacefully July 16, 2019 at Langone Hospital in NY.

Joan was born in Mineola, NY, daughter of George Milton Sayre and Caroline Melton Sayre. She graduated as class valedictorian from Black River High School in 1955.  She went onto many scholarly pursuits of which she earned on scholarships.  She received her bachelor’s of nursing degree from Syracuse University in 1960 and was head nurse at the Syracuse/VA Hospital.  It was there she realized clinical nursing was not her true vocation. She then moved to Manhattan where she worked at Bellevue Hospital and taught an evening program for returning fireman and police officers who wanted to pursue nursing.  She received her Master’s of Arts in Education at NY University and her Doctorate in Philosophy from the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science in 1985.  She loved to travel and attended the Sorbonne in Paris, France during the summer of 1968 and the University of Cambridge in 1973.

Joan was an accomplished Professor of Nursing at Hunter College in New York City for 37 years.  She retired in 2002 and she had many passions in life, most importantly to research, write, and travel.  She was a member of the Elder Hostel Travel Club, traveling the world, she was a member of the Appalachian Mountain Hiking Club, and she most enjoyed teaching memoir writing classes at the Senior Center.

Joan was an ambitious woman who enjoyed the social and cultural life that New York City had to offer her, but said growing up in the idyllic and innocent community of Black River, NY instilled in her the love of music, the natural world, and a love of learning.

She was a member of the Kamargo Association of Black River and enjoyed attending her class reunions.

Joan is survived by a brother and sister in law, Milton and Jane Sayre, Clayton, NY, a sister in law, Karen Sayre, Waterbury, CT, two nephews, Michael Sayre, Morris, CT and Benjamin Sayre, Fayetteville, NC, three nieces, Elizabeth Sayre, Bethlehem, CT, Shayne Curtis, New Berlin, NY, Judith McDuff, Waterbury, CT and many beloved friends, too many to mention, Florence Runyon, Jane Connor and members of the Jolly Four, Sally Madden, Ruth Milts, Vaughn and Katie.

Besides her parents her brother, Clyde Sayre and her beloved aunt Ann have died before her.

Arrangements are with the Bruce Funeral Home, Black River.

A graveside service will be held 12:30 p.m. Saturday, September 7 at the Black River Cemetery.  A luncheon will follow at the Black River American Legion.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Hospice of Jefferson County1398 Gotham St., Watertown, NY 13601 or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan Ann Sayre, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
September 7, 2019

12:30 PM
Black River Cemetery
NYS Rt 3
Black River, New York 13612

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