Joanna Marston

Obituary of Joanna Marston

Joanna Marston 

February 22, 1936 – November 21, 2023 

Joanna Marston passed away on November 21, 2023, in New Jersey, with her loving children and her husband of 40 years at her side. 

Joanna Marson McIntyre was born in Yonkers, NY, to Mary Snow (née Norton) McIntyre and Edwin P. McIntyre. She grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, the youngest of three children.  

Joanna graduated from Hastings-on-Hudson High School in 1953 and received her B.A.  from Hope College in Holland, MI, in 1957. It was there that she met and married her first husband, William C. Waggoner. Their first two children, Julie and Rich, were born while they resided in graduate student housing at the University of Michigan, in Alma. 

Joanna and Bill moved to Warren, New Jersey, in 1962 where they had two more children, Mary and Will. The couple divorced in 1979, and Joanna continued to reside in the family home in Warren.  

In 1981, Joanna began dating Ernest Cottrill, and they fell deeply in love. They were married in 1983 and had 40 happy years together until Joanna's passing. Their home in Warren has hosted many years of visits from children, stepchildren, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren; Grandma’s “toy drawer” in the kitchen is the stuff of family legend. 

Joanna worked as a Family Liaison Probation Officer for Somerset County, advocating for children, until her retirement in 2002. She continued to bring her love of community to her work with The Women’s Wardrobe, The Somerset County Food Bank, and tutoring students in English as a second language. She also worked with Ernie and other volunteers for many years to create and build up the Wagner Farm Arboretum Giving Garden Project. She will be remembered in the Garden with a shade pavilion and a memorial plaque. 

Joanna was an avid birder, passing that passion on to at least one of her children. She loved nature and traveling with her husband Ernie on many cross-country trips to US. National Parks, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Canada, Nova Scotia, the Grand Canyon, France, England, Alaska, Tennessee and Kentucky, and Massachusetts. Prior to macular degeneration and physical disabilities she was known to ride with Ernie on a motor scooter, hike valleys and mountains,  go on whale watches, sail, and walk the block in her neighborhood on a daily basis. She was spiritually curious, attending Trinity United Church in Warren, NJ, while also entertaining concepts of spirituality in nature and the possibilities of the origins of the human species. Her reading ranged from general fiction to politics to religion. One of her deepest loves was thoughtful conversation with beloved family members and friends. 

She is remembered as a beautiful, soft-spoken but spirited woman, with a rebellious streak and a twinkle in her eye. She was curious about people and the world, and truly caring and loving with her immediate and extended family. Despite increasing health challenges as she aged, she continued to have a fulfilling life and stayed in close contact with her siblings, children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and the variety of friends and community members with whom she had deep connections. Email, Zoom, and in-person visits with her loved ones brought her some of her greatest joys. 

Joanna is survived by her loving husband, Ernest L. Cottrill of NJ; her brother, John McIntyre (wife Marie, children Anne-Marie, David, and Jennifer); her sister, Virginia Burgess (husband Julian (deceased) children David and Randy); by her children Julianna C. Waggoner (and wife Gisele A. Richardson) of West Whately, MA; Richard E. Waggoner (and wife Tracy Nichols Waggoner) of Franklin, TN; Mary Waggoner-Moritz and husband Bertrand Moritz of Grandfontaine, France; and William H. Waggoner of Annandale, NJ. She is also survived by her stephchildren Linda Tremain of NY; Ernest G. Cottrill and wife Linda of MI; and Julie Waddell and wife Pat of FL. She was predeceased by her stepson Daniel Cottrill. She is survived as well by her grandchildren James Waggoner (wife Sarah, children Shepherd and Averie); Katelyn Caufield (husband Patrick, and daughters Harper and Palmer); Lindsey Brakebill (husband Paul and children Hazel and Ruth); Sarah Moritz (husband Emerick Guillerme, daughter Apolline) of Belfort, France; Anne-Isabelle Moritz of Paris, France; and Matthew Moritz of France and Boston, MA. Surviving her are also step-grandchildren Jason Tremain, Jeanine Schmidt, Paula Fulper, and eight great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. 

Burial will be private at Bound Brook Cemetery, NJ. A memorial service will be planned for the future. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Joanna's favorite charities: The Wagner Farm Arboretum Giving Garden Project ( and Save the Children ( 

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