JoAnne Claire (nee Pozniak) Lemenille, wife of Steven Lemenille, mother of Ross-Steven Lemenille, mother-in-law of Lisa Hargis-Lemenille and grandmother of Callen Joseph Lemenille passed away January 26, 2021 after a brief and sudden illness.
JoAnne resided originally in Union with her parents, the late Joseph and Josephine Pozniak, before moving to Clark in 1965. Mr. Pozniak was a Clark councilman and Council President. JoAnne attended St. Michael's Grammar School in Union and graduated from Union High School in 1964. She graduated from Jersey City State College (JCSC) in 1968 with a degree in Music Education. She taught in Rahway for one year, then in Clark for over 30 years from which she retired. She conducted music concerts at Kumpf School and was the Band Director, Chorus Director and Drama Director until her retirement.
JoAnne always had a passion for theater and the performing arts. While growing up in Union, she belonged to the TeenStagers Theater Group. While in college, JoAnne was a member of Tower Players Drama Club, Community College Orchestra, Mixed Choir, College Band, Music Educators Club, Sophomore Class Secretary, Student Government Finance Committee. JoAnne received America's Outstanding Students in America's Colleges and Universities Award for 1967-68. In 1966, she was Miss Jersey City State Homecoming Queen. JoAnne was the 2nd Runner-Up in the Union County Miss America Pageant in 1967; later that same year she became the winner of the Miss Hudson County Pageant and competed in the NJ Miss America Pageant in Cherry Hill.
JoAnne began her legacy here at WCP by performing in The Cemetery Club. JoAnne was then asked to join the Westfield Community Players family as Properties Chair. She then became a member of the Board of Directors serving as Performance Director, Producer, Vice-President and then President of WCP. While serving in these positions, she continued working backstage handling properties and often costuming for all shows since 2007. Her relationship to those who performed here at WCP was beloved and highly respected. She was also instrumental in producing several talent shows for WCP. JoAnne was also a dear friend of Marc Shaiman, American composer and lyricist for films, television, and theatre. JoAnne, in her early years, was an accomplished equestrian. Musically, she played over 12 instruments. JoAnne also gave of herself to other local community theaters, Summit, Clark Players, Philathalians, the Barn theater. She also appeared in a number of productions at the Barn Theater and with Regal Productions, a semi-professional theater group.
Westfield Community Players will be establishing a Memorial Fund named in honor of JoAnne Lemenille. Donations can be made to the fund through Westfield Community Players, Attn. JoAnne Lemenille Fund, 1000 North Avenue West, Westfield, N.J. 07090.