McVey, Joan Mulrooney

Joan “Dunal” McVey, age 85, of Wilmington, Delaware passed away peacefully at home on Monday, August 9, 2021, surrounded by her four daughters and their families.

Dunal was born on January 25, 1936, the sixth surviving child of Margaret and Edward Mulrooney. She was a proud “Christ Our Kinger” and graduated from P.S. DuPont High School in 1954 where she was in Leader Corps and cheerleading. She also met Jack McVey at P.S. DuPont starting a lifelong love affair on a walk home after a basketball game. Dunal received a full scholarship to the University of Delaware to which she commuted (adventurously), and from which she graduated summa cum laude in 1958.

Dunal was the keystone of our family – a quiet and forceful yin to Jack’s yang. She and Jack raised their girls in St. Mary Magdalen parish where she volunteered for the annual bazaars making countless pinecone wreaths, Holly Hobby dolls, Paddington Bears, and patchwork skirts. She also taught many budding basketball players how to do a layup at St. Mary Magdalen intramurals. She was enormously talented and single-mindedly focused. She taught herself to play piano and to sew. She was an excellent seamstress making almost everything we wore when we were children. She made thirteen, hand-beaded wedding gowns; smocked Christening gowns and First Communion dresses; upholstered furniture, and made slipcovers (easy) and curtains (confounding). She loved gardening and music; she decorated multiple homes every Christmas! She worked for Dental Associates of Delaware and Changeover Sales (great fun!), attended classes at the Academy of Lifelong Learning, and, until her death, volunteered at the DuPont Hospital for Children and Waggies by Maggie & Friends. Later in life, her schedule was packed with friends, her expanding family and so many games, meets, recitals, cups of coffee, and more recently, weddings and births. She was generous with her time and talent - it just won’t be the same without her.

Dunal was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, John “Jack” McVey, parents, Margaret and Ed, her brothers, Ed, Joe and Paul, and her sisters Peggy, Patsy and Rita. She is survived by her four daughters: Kathleen Pankowski (Jim), Joby McCormick (Mike), Peggy McCoy (Pat) and Sheila Mangan (Kevin); fourteen grandchildren: Kaitlin O’Connor (Dan) and Andrew Pankowski (Ashley); Maggie Kalinec (John), Molly McCormick, and Kallie Robinson (Jerome); Ellen McCoy, Maeve Tuntivate (Chanon), Megary McCoy (David Yoncha), and Eamon McCoy; Jack, Tim, Mary Rose, Clare and Siobhan Mangan; and four great grandchildren: Maeve O’Connor, Jack and Charlie Kalinec and Liam Pankowski (on his way).

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, August 16, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 7 Sharpley Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, Dunal would appreciate contributions in her memory to Waggies by Maggie & Friends, P.O. Box 7933, Wilmington, DE 19803 or online. To send condolences visit:

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