Joan Marie Ladue Vercruse, 59, of Cold Spring, died of lung cancer on July 6, 2016, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City with her family at her side.

Joan Ladue Vercruse
Joan Ladue Vercruse

Joan was born in Plattsburgh on November 16, 1956, to Joseph Francis and Anita (Poissant) Ladue. In 1964, she and her family moved from Chazy, N.Y. to Highland, N.Y., where she graduated in 1975 from Highland High School. She went on to earn an associate’s degree from Ulster Community College. On Aug. 4, 1984, she married Robert Vercruse at Our Lady of Loretto in Cold Spring. She and her husband resided in Cold Spring for their 32 years of marriage.

In addition to her husband, Joan is survived by her mother, Anita Ladue of Highland. Her father, Joseph Ladue, passed away in 2013. She is also survived by her siblings Mary Jo Goth and her husband Gary of Pleasant Valley; Stanley Ladue and his wife Debra of Highland; Lou Ann Judge and her husband David of Highland; Susan Ladue-Tong and her husband Perry of Highland; Carol Doyle and her husband Douglas of Ulster Park; Christine Paine and her husband Ronald of Highland, and Michael Ladue and his wife Jeannine of Poughkeepsie.

She leaves behind many nieces and nephews to not only cherish her memory, but also to carry on her legacy of kindness and generosity to others: Johanna Goth Finegan and her husband Timothy and their daughters Rachel and Hannah; Karen Goth Cabarrus and her husband Brian and their daughter Aubree; Danielle Ladue Platt and her husband Kevin and her daughter Olivia; Christopher Ladue; Kevin Judge and his wife Kelley and their son Aaron; Sarah Judge Delfini and her husband Tony and their twin sons Connor and Ethan; Megan Doyle; Douglas Doyle; Jeffrey Paine; Robin Paine; Michael Ladue; Nicholas Banney; Caitlin Banney; Thomas Banney and Samantha Banney.

Her loving friend Kevin Reisman was a huge part of her life. She and Bob truly thought of Kevin as the child they never had, and she would have been unable to fight this battle without him by her side. He has been and will continue to be caretaker of her two beloved dogs, Luke and Molly.

Joan had boundless energy and always kept busy. Many may remember her from her bartending days at Easy Street in Hyde Park and La Fonda del Sol in Wappingers, where she met her husband. She and Bob enjoyed boating and were avid skiers. Joan volunteered at her local animal shelter where she spent countless days and nights caring for the dogs and cats, fostering many of them in her home, nursing them back to health, and making sure they were placed with loving families.

For years she worked with her Bob in the film industry and then she put to good use all the woodworking and home maintenance skills she’d learned from her father. She and her husband ran their own home repair and house painting business until she was overcome by her disease. She also enjoyed gardening at their mountainside home. An accomplished musician, her love of music carried her through some of the most difficult times of her illness and brought her great comfort as she passed.

As Joan received her chemotherapy, she felt very cold. In her usual style, she solved her problem by making herself a fleece hat and a warm blanket. Always thinking of others’ needs, Joan then used her exceptional sewing abilities to make throws and animal hats for the numerous children and adults who were also receiving treatments at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Contributions of money and materials were instrumental in making this project happen. A heartfelt “thank you” goes to her friends, and especially Bob’s co-workers.

Joan did not want her pain, suffering and death to have been in vain. Her final request to all, but especially her friends and family is: If you don’t smoke, please do not start. If you do smoke, please quit now.

Services and burial will be private in the “North Country” near Lake Champlain in accordance with her final wishes. Memorial donations may be made to either the American Cancer Society or an animal shelter of your choice. Arrangements are by Lawson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Long Branch, N.J.

Behind The Story

Type: Obituary

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