Joan S. Horlacher

Apr 26, 1932 - Jul 3, 2020


Holmdel Funeral Home

Joan Horlacher, age 88, of Tinton Falls, NJ passed away peacefully on Friday, July 3, 2020. She was born in Drums, PA. In her younger years, she worked as a registered nurse at Wyoming Valley Hospital and later on as a charge nurse at Holmdel Convalescent Center (which is now CareOne). Throughout her years of nursing, she had an innate ability, through her compassionate spirit, to make her patients feel at ease.

Joan lived her life loving her family, music and the beauty of nature. She always stressed the importance of appreciating life’s simple pleasures such as a beautiful sunset or a clear blue sky. Joan was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, and a loving friend to everyone.

Throughout her life, Joan was active in sports including playing high school basketball and in later years, bowling and golf. She was also a passionate Penn State football fan.

When she was in the 7th grade, Joan met the love of her life, Robert Horlacher. They were happily married for 63 years until Robert’s passing in 2017. They raised three daughters in Colts Neck, NJ and spent their golden years in Sugarloaf, PA, enjoying numerous trips, a wonderful circle of friends, cocktails on the deck, and spending time with a growing family. They returned to NJ in 2015 to be near their daughters.

Joan was a charter member at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Holmdel, NJ where she served as organist and choir director. In Sugarloaf, she was also an active member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Conyingham, PA where she sang in the choir. For many years, she was a volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

In addition to having musical talents, Joan was a wonderful seamstress, gardener, cook and baker. She delighted in being able to make beautiful, one of a kind outfits for her daughters, including bridesmaid dresses for several weddings. There was nothing better than the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls or sour cream apple pie when her girls arrived home from school. And no barbecue was complete without her famous pickled cabbage.

Joan spent the last three years at Atria in Tinton Falls. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Atria staff for the outstanding care she received there.

In addition to her husband Robert, Joan was also predeceased by her parents, Fred and Ethel Arbogast, and her sister Linda Degillio. She is survived by three daughters, Deborah (John) Blackburn of Snow Hill, MD, Diane (Ken) Stetz of Neptune, NJ and Jane (Glenn) Schmoyer of Wall, NJ, seven grandchildren, Sarah, Ryan, Julia, Rebecca, Kyle, Jennifer and Robert and 5 great-grandchildren, Maggie, Violet, Ava, Remy and Leo. She is also survived by her sister, Irene Davis, Knoxville, TN and her devoted childhood girlfriend Irene Hoch, Nescopeck, PA.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice. To submit online condolences to the family, visit