Joan Madeline Cookfair, Ph.D., of the Town of Tonawanda, who taught and mentored hundreds of nursing students and authored a textbook on community health nursing, died Monday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Town of Tonawanda. She was 79.
A graduate of Kenmore West High School, the former Joan Patton received her nursing degree from the Buffalo General School of Nursing. She received bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from the University at Buffalo.
Dr. Cookfair worked for several years as a nurse at hospitals in Western New York and Washington, D.C. She then worked as a professor of community health nursing, retiring from D'Youville College at the age of 76.
In 1993, she received the American Association of University Professors award for scholarly activity related to authoring the 1991 edition of the textbook "Nursing Process in the Community."
She also was an active volunteer, teaching Sunday school to autistic children and founding and directing two summer camps for handicapped adults, Camp Caring Love in Dunkirk and Duffield Camp in Delevan.
A music lover, Dr. Cookfair played the piano, accordion and drums and taught piano and voice to young students after she retired from D'Youville.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Arthur; two daughters, Diane and Patricia Cookfair-Casseri; and a son, Doug.
Her funeral will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday in University Presbyterian Church, Main Street and Niagara Falls Boulevard.