Joel Alexander Lettman, of Montclair, died peacefully after a two-year battle with cancer on Sept. 11, 2021. He was 82.
Born and raised in the port city of Limón, Costa Rica, Mr. Lettman was the ninth child of Stanley and Merdina Lettman. He migrated to the United States in 1963.
After marrying Brenda Stanley, they moved to the neighborhood of Park Slope in Brooklyn. Following the birth of their son, Ollyn, the family moved to Coney Island and lived in an apartment just down the street from the world-famous amusement park. It was there that they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Yani.
In 1979, the family moved to Montclair.
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With his strong work ethic, pleasant demeanor and winning smile, Mr. Lettman enjoyed a long career in business. He attended Baruch College and graduated with a B.A. in business administration.
His professional career started at the accounting firm of Osborne, Post and Kurtz. He was employed there for over 15 years, working his way up to the position of controller. He also worked in sales divisions of companies such as Mars, Inc. and Cablevision.
Remaining active in his older years, Mr. Lettman was often seen cutting the grass, shoveling snow and keeping up with the grandkids. He was a big advocate for healthy living and believed in vitamins and supplements to maintain body and mind. He aged gracefully; many times, people would mistake him as his son’s “older brother.” This would always bring an appreciative smile to his face.
He was devoted to his family. As the patriarch of the extended Lettman clan, he was a constant and reliable anchor, keeping in touch with his sisters and many nieces and nephews throughout the country and in Costa Rica. In his later years, he took great pride in being the best “Lito” to his grandchildren, teaching them how to ride a bike, attending all their school plays and musicals, taking them on trips to the mall and spoiling them in different ways.
In addition, Mr. Lettman was known for two of his passions: reading and dancing. He was an avid reader, especially when it came to politics and history. He relished any opportunity to share his views on the world and enjoyed having healthy debates with friends, family and those he just met. No matter the difference in opinions, he always shared his wisdom and experience in a spirit of respect.
Friends and family knew that he enjoyed doing his thing on the dance floor at family gatherings and social occasions. He would often be the first one out on the floor with his wife Brenda or daughter Yani, especially when his favorite music, mambo (or old-style salsa), started playing.
He lived a full and complete life and leaves behind many loved ones, including his wife of 56 years, Brenda; son, Ollyn; daughter, Yani; grandchildren, Eliana and Donovan Peyton and Sofia Lettman; son-in-law, Russell Peyton; daughter-in-law, Ivette Rosario; sister, Mayra Álvarez, and a host of nephews, grandnephews, nieces and grandnieces.
Arrangements were by Martin’s Home for Service.