Joel Alexander Lettman, born and raised in the port city of Limón, Costa Rica, was the ninth child of Stanley and Merdina Lettman. He migrated to the United States in 1963. After getting married to Brenda Stanley, they moved to the neighborhood of Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York. 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 here that they welcomed the birth of their daughter Yani. In 1979, the family moved to Montclair, New Jersey.
With his strong work ethic, pleasant demeanor, and winning smile, Joel enjoyed a long career in business. He attended Baruch College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. His professional career started at the accounting firm of Osborne, Post, and Kurtz. He was employed there for over fifteen years working his way up to the position of Controller. Joel also worked in sales divisions for companies such as Mars, Inc. and Cablevision.
By the grace of God, Joel aged gracefully. Many times, people would mistake Joel as Ollyn’s “older brother.” This would always bring an appreciative smile to his face. Remaining active in his older years, Joel 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 the body and mind.
Joel 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, Joel 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 we live in 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 Joel 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.
Joel Alexander Lettman passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, September 11th after a two-year battle with cancer. He lived a full and complete life and leaves behind many loved ones, including his wife of 56 years Brenda, son Ollyn Joel Lettman, and daughter Yani Alexandria Peyton. Also surviving Joel are grandchildren Eliana and Donovan Peyton, Sofia Lettman, son-in-law Russell Peyton, daughter-in-law Ivette Rosario, sister Mayra Alvarez, a host of nephews/grandnephews, and nieces/grandnieces.
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