Joan Buckley Obituary, Death – We share the sad but happy news that Joan Shea Buckley passed away following a brief illness. Joan was born on May 16, 1934, in Hartford to John F. and Alice (Goode) Shea. She proudly went to Catholic schools, first at St. Patrick’s in Hartford before moving on to Mount St. Joseph Academy, from where she received her diploma in 1951.
Following her graduation from The Mount, Joan joined her mother in the post office before accepting a position at Hanson Whitney Manufacturing. She made the acquaintance she has known for more than 60 years, Lucille Gioello, there for the first time. The north and south of Hartford came together when Joan married John F. Buckley Jr. in February 1958, and Tim was born soon after.
They welcomed John III after a little over 4 years. Joan was a full-time mother now that she had given up her work to raise “her sons.” During this time, she forged lifelong relationships with her neighbors Janet, Gail, and Carol. Her strong involvement in the Women’s Guild at St. Brigid Parish in Elmwood complemented her commitment to her Catholic faith and her social skills.
She proudly served as Guild President from 1965 to 1966, and she was recently honored for being the organization’s longest-serving former executive. As the children were older, Joan went back to work. Before working for the Heublein Company, a stalwart of Hartford and a maker of a variety of alcoholic drinks, I first worked in bookkeeping for the Harvest Hill Package Store chain. She was overjoyed to see Lucille there once more and felt very proud of her role and connection to the company.
After retirement, she enjoyed having conversations with anybody who had ears, going on buddy trips to the Connecticut shore during the winter, and taking winter holidays to Florida. You wouldn’t want to meet somebody more outgoing than she was. She was excellent at establishing connections and making sure that everyone in her various groups got along.
She has worked frequently six days a week at the Fernwood Restaurant in West Hartford for a number of decades. They don’t work on Sundays. Joan would get to know you whether you were a new or returning customer, 25 or 75 years old, and ask you about your life. If you were a new guest, she would also introduce you to everyone else.
Her devotion to her family, though, came first. She cherished every gathering and conversation with all of her numerous nieces, nephews, grandkids, and any of their friends that may be there. She was so proud of her Irish heritage that she was happy to break into an Irish jig at the slightest provocation. People remained her everything right up until the very end of her incredible life.
Joan also leaves behind her granddaughters Maura (Brian Loomis), Shannon (fiancé Andrew Hoopes), Molly, and Hannah Buckley in addition to her numerous cousins, eleven nieces, eight nephews, and her two sons Tim (Patty O’Neil) and John (Carey). In addition to her ex-husband John “Jack” Buckley, her siblings Eileen, John, Alice, Bill, Ray, and Jerry all predeceased her, as did her nephews John Kingsley and John Boardman.
Following calling hours on Monday from 4 to 7 pm, a Mass of Christian Burial will be given at St. Timothy’s Church, 1116 North Main St., West Hartford, on Tuesday at 10:00. The burial will thereafter take place in Newington’s West Meadow Cemetery. You may join the procession if you park behind the church and walk around the block to King Philip Dr. after exiting St. Timothy’s on North Main St. A reception will be held at Wampanoag Country Club at 12:45.