In Memory of




Obituary for Joan Ogden Stern


Joan O. Stern passed away at the age of 98 on May 2, 2023. An award-winning poet, her poems appeared in numerous literary journals and a book of her poems, Fractured Light, was published in 2002. As one critic wrote, her poetry “...crossed wires with mystery and sees everything is changed - one senses she will never lose her capacity for surprise or the astonishment of love.”

The daughter of the late Ralph E. Ogden and Beatrice (Wellington) Ogden, Joan was born on September 18, 1924 in Manhattan. Her family relocated to Mountainville, NY in 1929. Her father later moved the family business there, Star Expansion, and in 1960, started Storm King Art Center. For many years, she maintained residences in both New York City and Mountainville.

Joan was a graduate of Oldfields School, Sarah Lawrence College, and Bank Street School of Education. In the 1980’s, she received her Masters Degree in English Literature from New York University, with a thesis on the writings of Thomas Hardy.

An American Youth Hostel trip to Europe in 1946 was transformative for her. This experience of helping children cope with the aftermath of World War II, contributed to her lifelong commitment to teaching, volunteer work and social justice. She became an early advocate for anti-smoking legislation, gun control and criminal justice reform. At the age of 85 she joined the Board of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, established by her father, serving as an active trustee for over ten years. She was a long-time supporter of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Innocence Project.

Joan was charming, kind and modest. She loved travel, the arts, and most of all, her family and friends - particularly her grandchildren. She was well loved for her generosity, humor and genuine interest in others. She appreciated fine food, was a superb hostess, and her love of ice cream was legendary.

She is survived by her husband, Zdzislaw Jan Bochynski, to whom she was happily married for more than thirty years; her daughters: Lisa Stern and Beatrice Stern of Mountainville, NY; her son: John P. Stern of Mountainville, NY; her stepchildren: Michael Bochynski and Magdalena Bochynski-Lipinska, and by her beloved grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Joan was formerly married to H. Peter Stern.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8th at Quigley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Inc., 337 Hudson St. Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY.

Contributions in Joan’s name can be made to Storm King Art Center

Arrangements are entrusted to Quigley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Inc.; to send condolences, please go to