Cover photo for Joanne Maeder's Obituary
Joanne Maeder Profile Photo
1941 Joanne 2021

Joanne Maeder

May 3, 1941 — September 27, 2021

Joanne “Cookie” Susan (Varos) Maeder passed from this world on September 27, 2021. She left it as she
lived, surrounded by love and family.
Born on May 3, 1941, in Brackenridge, daughter to the late Anna M. (Knasko) Varos Grondwalski and
Peter J. Varos. She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and lived in Brackenridge most of
her life.
From the very beginning, Joanne was defined by her strength of character, strength of faith, and genuine
physical strength. She raised 6 children, had 5 grandchildren, a great granddaughter, and loved all
unconditionally. She treated everyone as family. She was adventurous and rebellious. Despite her
children’s caution, she continued parasailing, kayaking, ziplining, and doing exactly what she wanted well
into her 70s. She shined with her own kind of light.
Cookie was an avid reader, gardener, and baker. She took her children and grandchildren berry picking
every summer and made a pie for every birthday. Her cookies were unparalleled, particularly because
her recipes read like treasure maps and usually contained one or two riddles. She made sure everyone
ate. She loved to dance and sing, and even had a brief and brilliant film career.
She modeled for us as to how to find meaning in life. She devoted her years to making people brave and
dignified in times when they were frighted and vulnerable, and we are all greater for having been near
She survives through her children, James Maeder Jr. of Arlington, VA, Jeffrey (Debra) Maeder of Natrona
Heights, Nina (Don) Tomporoski of Natrona Heights, Karl Maeder of Brackenridge, Scott Maeder of
Brackenridge, and Trisha (George) Starrett of Pittsburgh; brother John (Rose) Grondwalski; grandchildren
Beverly Tomporoski, Nathan (Lauren) Tomporoski, Emily Maeder, Maxwell Maeder, and great-grandchild,
Brooke Tomporoski. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James
Maeder Sr., sister Patricia Schuster, brother Peter Varos, and grandson Paul Maeder.

Services and burial for Joanne were private. Arrangements were under the care of the Cicholski-Zidek
Funeral Home, Inc., Natrona Heights 724-224-8688. Contributions in memory of Joanne may be made to the Scleroderma Foundation, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 105, Danvers, MA. 01923. To send an online condolence please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joanne Maeder, please visit our flower store.


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