YAKIMA, Wash. — Joan K. Bartz, 68, of Yakima, Washington, passed away on Jan. 1, 2020, at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Yakima.

She was born on April 19, 1951, in Van Wert, the daughter of the late Verne Cadell Bartz and Marilyn Sue (Edwards) Bartz.

Joan was a 1969 graduate of Van Wert High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University and her Master’s from the University of Illinois. Joan was an avid reader her entire life.

Joan worked as a hazardous nuclear waste scientist at the Hanford Nuclear Waste site in Washington state and at numerous other locations and agencies throughout the country.

She is survived by her brother, Tom (Tammy) Bartz of rural Van Wert County; nephews and nieces, Brandon (Brenda) Bartz, Kristy (Terry) Boyd, Chad (Kelli) Jay, Kristen (John) Maenle and Matthew Jay; and a cousin who was more like a sister, Alberta (Charlie) Priddy McConnell of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In addition to her parents, Joan was preceded in death by her beloved dog, Sammy.

Memorials given in Joan’s memory may be directed to the Van Wert County Humane Society.

Services for Joan will be announced at a later date.

To share in Joan’s online memorial, please visit www.alspachgearhart.com.

Funeral arrangements are by Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, 722 S. Washington St., Van Wert, OH 45891.