Joanne S. Puharic, age 88, of Claymont, DE, passed away peacefully with her loved ones by her side on October 4, 2023.
She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and was the daughter of the late Lavina (Smith) and John Shanahan. Joanne graduated from St. Wendelin’s’ High School, Pittsburgh, in 1952. She then graduated from a secretarial business school. She started working as an executive assistant and, at that same time, did some print modeling for a major department store. Then one night at the local dance hall, she met the love of her life, Donald S. Puharic, and they danced gracefully into their retirement days.
She cherished her role as a devoted mother to their four children. Joanne and Don started their family in Pittsburgh and after a short stay in NJ and PA, they settled in Claymont, DE in 1972. The children were enrolled at Holy Rosary School where she helped with teaching reading, even while her grandchild attended and volunteered at lunchtime. As a member of the Church for over forty years, Joanne served as a Eucharistic Minister, sponsored many through the Right of Catholic Initiation (RCIA) program and volunteered for the Outreach Program.
After the children started school, she also worked as an executive assistant at Phoenix Steel and then later at First USA Bank, retiring in 1999.
What brought her the most joy in life was becoming a grandmother, from soothing them as infants to attending all the sport events and ceremonies! She also enjoyed Calligraphy. Joanne not only was an excellent cook, she liked to bake too and kept a well-organized home. Traveling was another favorite hobby, especially going to Ireland where she met her cousins for the first time at her father’s homestead.
Her husband of 53 years, Donald S. Puharic, died in 2013. Joanne is survived by her 4 children, Colleen Donithan, D.J. (Brenda), Terri Esposito, Erin Giordano (Thomas II); 9 grandchildren, Brian & Adam Donithan, Brooke, Jacob & Joshua Puharic, Nadia & Anthony Esposito and Thomas III & Justin Giordano. Joanne is also preceded in death by her 4 siblings, Jack Shanahan, Mary Daly (Edward), Msgr. James Shanahan and Robert Shanahan (Tess).
A viewing will be held on Saturday, October 7 from 9-10:15 am at Holy Rosary Church, 3200 Philadelphia Pk, Claymont, DE where a Mass of Christian burial will follow at 10:30 am. Burial will be held privately at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Chimbote Foundation https://chimbotefoundation.org
For online condolences visit:www.mccreryandharra.com