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Joan Rose, 81, teacher, prominent duplicate bridge player

Feb. 16, 1936 – Feb. 12, 2018

Joan Rose of North Buffalo, a teacher and prominent duplicate bridge player, died Monday in Gates Vascular Institute after a brief illness. She was 81.

Born in Canandaigua, the former Joan Rayburn was a 1953 graduate of Bloomfield High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from D’Youville College in 1957.

She taught business classes at South Park High School for about 10 years until she left to raise her family. She was a past president and longtime member of the City Honors School Parent Teacher Organization.

A competitive bridge player for many years, Mrs. Rose was a Sapphire Life Master, with more than 3,500 master points.

“We’ve been together since 1980,” said her frequent partner, Christine Urbanek. “My very first bridge hand I played against her and Sue Neubecker in a novice game. I still remember thinking, ‘Ohhh, they’re so good.’ ”

Mrs. Rose was a past president and longtime treasurer of Western New York Unit 116, American Contract Bridge League. Certified as a duplicate bridge director, she taught classes in bridge and chaired tournaments for more than 30 years. She also was a founding member of the Bridge Center of Buffalo.

Active in St. Margaret’s Catholic Church, she was a Eucharistic minister and taught religious education classes.

“She made it fun,” her son, Jeff, said. “She would have Bible Jeopardy. We really had a good time.”

She and Howard T. Rose, a retired general manager in the rates department for National Fuel Gas, were married in 1965.

In addition to her husband and son, survivors include two daughters, Cindy Hamilton and Mindy Hayes; a brother, Donald Rayburn; a sister, Dolores Roth; and five grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

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