Joan Taylor Bossert, animal lover

May 3, 2021

Joan Taylor Bossert, 87, died peacefully at home Friday, April 30, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.  She was preceded in death by her wonderful parents, Lillian Magargal Taylor and Roland P. Taylor; her beloved husband of 49 years, Harry “Bud” Bossert; her cherished sister, Jean Kempski and husband, John Kempski, all from Wilmington.

Joan graduated from Henry C. Conrad High School.  She was a member of the National Honor Society and excelled in sports, especially basketball and field hockey and earned seven varsity letters, including one for cheerleading.  Joan was also voted Best Athlete by her classmates.

Joan met her husband Bud on the dance floor at Conrad, and the two were considered the best dancers in the school.  They married Nov. 7, 1953, during one of the worst snow blizzards of the decade.

After high school, Joan attended Goldey-Beacom Business College.  After Goldey-Beacom, Joan worked at Delaware Park Racetrack in the Photo-News Department for 14 years, beginning in 1954.  She loved her work there and began using her talent for sewing to make the silks that the jockeys wore during the races. This translated into a profession making custom slipcovers and draperies, at first for Ina Brown’s interior design firm in Greenville until she went on her own and became self-employed five years later.

Joan and Bud had many friends and enjoyed their life together to the fullest, spending every summer at Broadkill Beach and traveling with their close friends to Florida every February for years.  Many a lively summer party was held on the Bossert “porch” over the years and Joan and Bud were the ultimate hosts.  Bud, a piano and keyboard musician, entertained friends and relatives while Joan put together delicious cocktail party fare on a moment’s notice.  Joan loved her family very much, and after Bud passed away, she enjoyed her daughters and their families spending summers with her at Broadkill and looked forward to their Friday night happy hours out on the town.

An animal lover through and through, Joan rescued and kept several dogs and cats, and fed and cared for birds, possums, squirrels, and other creatures who were in need.  Joan claimed that she didn’t need to go anywhere to find a pet - they found her!  She always had a story to tell about her animals.

Joan is survived by her two daughters, Donna Bossert Ward (Ben King) and Laurie Bossert Nichols (Kevin Nichols); wonderful ex-son-in-law, Michael Ward; three grandchildren, Jessica Nichols White (Greg White), Ally Ward Nagle (Jeff Nagle), and Evan Ward (Abby Musial); two great-grandchildren, Colten White and Jack Nagle; brother-in-law, Robert Bossert (Barbara Bossert); along with several nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to visit at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Pike Creek, Thursday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Funeral services will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by interment in Red Clay Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Faithful Friends (, Delaware Humane Association (, Delaware SPCA ( or Bayada Hospice ( who provided excellent and compassionate care.


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