Former funeral home owner dies at 81

An active member and former business owner in the Bay Ridge community for many years, native Brooklynite Joanna Kasler died on Wednesday, April 1. She was 81.

The former owner of Fred Herbst Sons, Inc. Funeral Home and E.C. Waldeck Home for Funerals, Kasler devoted years to the funeral business, all while serving and volunteering for many civic and non-profit organizations.

Kasler served on the board of the United Hospital Fund of Greater New York and was its Brooklyn chairperson in the 1970s. She was also a board member and at one time president of the Bay Ridge Day Nursery Juniors and the Ladies Auxiliary of Lutheran Medical Center. She also volunteered at Lutheran Medical Center with her mother.

At the age of 47, Kasler suffered a brain aneurism but managed to surprise doctors and surgeons by outliving any life expectancy predictions they had given her. Over the years, she was cared for by the Augustana Rehabilitation Center and the Norwegian Christian Home.

Kasler is survived by her three sons and daughters-in-law: Drew and Diane Kasler, Brian and Jude Kasler, and Christopher and Theresa Kasler; a daughter, Janice Kasler and her partner Pat; and seven grandchildren and extended family.

Funeral services were held at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Bay Ridge.

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