Joan A. Ober, 83, died peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, Monday, December 28, 2020, at the Sussman Hospice House in Rockport.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the oldest of nine children born to Carl and Doris White Rival. In 1950 Joan moved with her family to Islesboro where she attended school. In 1952 at the tender age of 15, Joan married her soul-mate, Leland Ober. Together they made their home on the Island and Joan devoted her time to raising her young family. To help, she kept the books for the family business, L.S. Ober Builders. She also ran a laundry service for summer residents from her home and often served at dinner parties. For many years she served as a telephone operator before beginning her career as a bookkeeper. Commuting from Islesboro to the mainland, she was employed at Camden Hospital in the Accounts Receivable department, and later at the new Pen Bay Medical Center.

In 1985, Joan and Leland moved to the mainland where they purchased their home in Rockport, one originally built by their son.

Joan was a homemaker at heart and loved nothing more than caring for her family and her home. She could often be found dusting/vacuuming and making family meals. She was happiest when holding a baby; spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren was her number one priority in life. She had a love of music and took great joy in sharing that love with her great-grandchildren when accompanying them to their music classes. Her face would light up when she saw the enjoyment children received from music.

Although typically a home-body, Joan embraced the opportunity to travel when given the opportunity. She greatly enjoyed a trip to Washington DC with her daughter Diane and was excited to see the cherry blossoms there. They also travelled to Cancun, Mexico, where she participated in a snorkeling adventure that resulted in the retelling of the story for years to come. Later she and Leland were thrilled to receive the gift of a trip to Alaska for their 50th wedding anniversary from their children. In 2006 she ventured to New York City with her best friend Barbara Pendleton, her granddaughter Tina, and former daughter-in-law that Joan always said she got to keep, Dee Ober.

After the passing of her beloved husband in 2005, Joan enjoyed the fellowship at Aldersgate Methodist Church in Rockport. She also found pleasure in afternoon cards with the girls. Joan had a special place in her heart for animals, especially her cat “Jesse.”

Predeceased by her husband in 2005; son Donald Ober in 2001; daughter Diane Ober in 2010; grandson Adam Ober in 2001; and siblings Charles Rival, Michael Rival, Carl Rival, Jr., Marion Welz and Virginia “Ginny” Rich, Joan is survived by son David Ober and wife Janice of Appleton; grandchildren Tina Murray and husband Chris of Rockport, Hannah Flanagan and husband Ryan, Cory Ober and wife Cayla all of Topsham; great-grandchildren Riley, Elliot, Grayson, Julian, Oriana, Ashton, Raegan and Henry; sisters Charlotte Lockhart and husband Larry, Martha Warden and Tina Rival, all of Virginia; two former daughters-in-law, Dee Ober of Rockport and Kellie Coombs of Green; as well as many nieces, nephews and a large loving extended family.

Joan’s family would also like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to all of the special caregivers who have been a part of her life for the past five years, as well as the caring staff at the Owls Head Homestead for their loving support.

A graveside celebration of life will be held at Seaview Cemetery, Rockport, in the Spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Pope Memorial Humane Society, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841; or Avian Haven, 418 North Palermo Road, Freedom, ME 04941.

To share a memory or condolence, or to view a memorial video, visit the Ober family Book of Memories at

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.