OSTLING, Joan K. (nee Kerns) 69, of Ridgewood, a writer and college teacher, died of breast cancer on January 11.
The 32-year Ridgewood resident was best-known nationally as the co-author with her journalist husband Richard of “Mormon America” (1999, revised 2007), a standard book on the topic that the “New York Times Book Review” called “eminently fair, well-researched and exhaustive.” She also co-authored the scholarly annotated bibliography on books by and about C.S. Lewis, and published numerous articles and photographs.
Locally, she was the clerk of council, a lay elder, and longtime worship committee chair at the Ridgewood Christian Reformed Church; president of Friends of Music, the community support group for Ridgewood public school music; and a Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra board member.
Besides her husband she is survived by two daughters, both Ridgewood High School graduates: Margaret Chang of Lake Forest, Calif., and Elizabeth Ostling of Boston, Mass.; five grandchildren; a sister, Judith Hunter of Camp Hill, Pa., and a brother, J. Robert Kerns of Reading, Pa.
Joan Kerns Ostling was raised in Shillington, Pa. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and writing from Wheaton College in Illinois, an M.A. in political science from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in English from the University of Maryland, and completed coursework and comprehensive examinations toward a Ph.D. in English at New York University.
She was a reporter for the newspaper chain that covers Chicago’s western suburbs, a writer-editor with the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, D .C., and taught English and journalism at The King’s College, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., and at Nyack (N.Y.) College.
Funeral services will be held Friday, 10:30 am at the Ridgewood Christian Reformed Church. Visiting is Thursday, 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ. In lieu of flowers, contributions are appreciated to the Ridgewood Christian Reformed Church, 271 Lincoln Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450,
designated for the handicap access fund.
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