Joan Marie O’Connell, 92, devoted wife, beloved mother and grandmother, peacefully entered eternal life on August 27, 2021.
Joan was born on June 11, 1929 in Troy, NY to George F. and Helen M. (Birney) Collins. She married the love of her life, Edmund J. O’Connell in 1950. Together, they raised four children, Dennis, Donal, Judy, and Jeanine. The family moved to Rochester, NY in 1965 where Joan worked for many years at Rochester Telephone Company. She was a devout Catholic and parishioner at St. Theodore's Church where she volunteered in multiple capacities, most notably as a eucharaistic minister to the sick and homebound.
Joan was an avid traveller, starting with a trip to Paris she’d won by correctly naming the “mystery melody” on a television game show in 1954. She frequented the Piseco Lake area in the Adirondacks for family camping trips and enjoyed vacations in Hawaii, the Bahamas, and Aruba. After retirement, she ventured to Italy and all over the East Coast of the US and Canada with her many friends.
Her favorite pastimes included devouring books, going for long walks, marvelling at the birds outside, and caring for her dozens of plants. She was always working on a puzzle in her sunroom, doing word finds or crossword puzzles in her favorite chair, or pulling out Scrabble or Skip-bo during visits. Above all else, she adored time spent with her family and was always eager to host big holiday dinners.
Joan was inspirationally young at heart, making sure her hair and nails were always just so. She had an insatiable sense of adventure, and was always up for doing something at a moment’s notice, whether it was a late-evening trip to the food truck rodeo, a quick drive for ice cream, trying sushi for the first time in her 80s, or sampling a new craft beer.
Should you drop in for a visit, she was invariably on the phone with a friend or just getting back from an outing with someone. A conversation with Joan was almost completely one-sided - she wanted to know what you were up to, where you’d been, and where you were going, but only after fetching you a cup of coffee. She was a listener first, and took great pleasure in doing so. Joan had an infectious smile, was quick-witted, genuine, and compassionate, and was never afraid to offer some words of wisdom (“Go easy” and “Take care of each other” being the most frequently offered pieces of advice). It’s no wonder she had so many friends throughout her life.
Joan is predeceased by her husband, Edmund O’Connell; children Dennis O’Connell, Judy Edwards, and Jeanine Mosher; and siblings, James F. Collins (Clarice), Edward J. Collins, and Janet T. Zeller (Benjamin). She is survived by her son Donal (Fran) O’Connell; sons-in-law Paul Edwards and John Mosher; grandchildren Jennifer (Edward) Patrick, Jonathan Edwards, Rebecca (Matthew) Lutz, Amy (Mitchell) Skladanowski, Dennis O’Connell Jr., and Colleen O’Connell; and several great-grandchildren.
Friends and family are invited to a Funeral Mass on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 11:15AM at St. Theodore’s Church, 168 Spencerport Rd. Interment will follow in Holy Ghost Cemetery.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139: 23-24
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