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Joan Lowy Postow

August 23, 1940 ~ February 1, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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Joan Postow Obituary

Dr. Joan Lowy Postow, of Gaithersburg, MD,  passed away on the evening of February 1, 2024 due to complications from a lifelong heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Joan was 83 years old and leaves behind her son Brian Postow, daughter Lisa Postow, son-in-law Bobby Hogg, and brother Steven Lowy. She also leaves behind ex-husband Elliot Postow.

Joan was born in New York City and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, attending Forest Hills High School before moving to Ohio to attend Oberlin College. After graduating college in only three years, she entered medical school at Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve) at a time when very few women were becoming physicians. She trained in gastroenterology and internal medicine at the University of Washington and Thomas Jefferson University. For most of her career, Joan practiced medicine at the District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, DC. Following retirement, she volunteered with a number of organizations, including the Montgomery County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Committee and African American Health Program, and served on the University of Maryland College Park Campus Institutional Review Board.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Tillie Lowy, who both came to the United States from what was then Czechoslovakia during World War II. Her maternal grandfather and aunt were killed by the Nazis, while her paternal grandparents both survived the Terezin Concentration Camp before ultimately joining the family in New York City. While not discussing this excessively, her family history during the Holocaust was immensely important to her identity and she quietly spent years tracking down the fates of family members who did not survive.

Ultimately, Joan’s most persistent patient was herself. She began having symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that causes an enlargement of the heart muscle, in childhood. Understanding the dangers, she altered her behaviors -- including diet and exercise -- to maximize her health. In 2012, she bravely underwent extensive heart surgery and the lengthy recovery that followed, which likely extended her life by many years. Appointments and discussions with medical specialists resulted in pages and pages of detailed notes to better understand her best courses of action.

She regularly extended that concern and attention to detail to those around her. Joan was incredibly generous with her time and knowledge, always happy to offer her medical expertise to friends and family, answering questions and giving advice to all who asked. As a mother, she was loving and supportive, with high expectations for her children’s academic achievement and character. Diligence, kindness, and honesty were always critically important to herself and those she was close to.

Toward the end of her life, Joan began suffering severe effects of her heart condition. These culminated in a steep downward trajectory that, after a month, resulted in her death. Joan will be sorely missed by friends and family who loved her.

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August 23, 1940-February 1, 2024




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In Loving Memory Of

Joan Postow

August 23, 1940-February 1, 2024




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