Joan Wilcox Haufe passed away peacefully and surrounded by love at her home in Portsmouth RI on January 16th, 2022. Joan was born in Torrington, CT on May 10, 1928, and grew up in Cornwall, CT. She was the eldest child of Mary Loughlin Wilcox and Rodney Semple Wilcox.

After attending schools in both CT and NY Joan’s career path culminated as a dental assistant at the Wassaic State School. While there, she met the love of her life Dr. Thomas Robert Haufe and they were married on August 27, 1949 in Amenia, NY.

Together they moved to Memphis, TN, and later to Washington DC while Tom fulfilled his Naval Officer deployments. After Washington they returned to Dutchess County, settling in Poughkeepsie, NY where Tom practiced dentistry until he retired in 1991. After retirement they relocated to their summer home in Newport, RI where they spent many happy years enjoying family, extended family and friends from near and far. Always the consummate hostess, “Joanie” (as Tom lovingly called her) graciously opened both her heart and her home to invited and uninvited guests alike. She was famous for her gourmet meals which she appeared to seamlessly produce and present in the warmest and most beautiful settings while the halls echoed with the laughter and love that she so cherished.

While lovingly raising her five children during their years in Poughkeepsie, Joan still found time to serve as a board member of the Vassar Brothers Hospital Auxiliary, the Dutchess County Dental Auxiliary, the Poughkeepsie Day Nursery, and the Poughkeepsie Garden Club. Joan also volunteered at the American Cancer Society, and would frequently drive cancer patients from Poughkeepsie to Sloan Kettering in NYC.

Joan was also a past member of the Poughkeepsie Tennis Club and the Dutchess County Golf and Country Club.

Joan loved to read, needlepoint, garden, hook rugs, and was a natural at flower arranging. In her recent years she enjoyed taking on the most challenging of puzzles often with a family member or one of her beloved caregivers by her side. Joan’s greatest passion however, was loving people and, of course, animals. She loved in the deepest most unconditional way. If she asked you how you or your loved ones were, it wasn’t because she was just being polite, it was because she truly cared. She was the most unique combination of sweetness, humility, selflessness and strength.

Joan was predeceased by Tom a day and a half earlier. She is survived by her five children, Thomas Haufe Jr. (Lynne), Timothy Haufe (Cathy), Claudia Bell (Richard), Katy Johnson, Lisa Benson (Frank) her 18 grandchildren and her 8 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers Gerald Wilcox of Amenia NY and Peter Wilcox (Henrietta) of Bloomfield, CT and her niece Jennifer Beihl (Eric) of Ridgefield, CT.

Funeral services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in in Joan’s memory to the Special Olympics at or the Newport Preservation Society

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...