Cover photo for Joan Brennan Donnelly's Obituary
Joan Brennan Donnelly Profile Photo
1942 Joan 2023

Joan Brennan Donnelly

June 9, 1942 — April 25, 2023

   Joan Elizabeth Brennan Donnelly, passed into the perpetual light on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, in her home. Her life was, by any reasonable measure, marred by tragedy, yet she maintained a quiet strength and an amazing sense of humor that kept her at peace.

   Joan was born in Port Chester, New York on June 9, 1942 to the late John Edward and Muriel Smythe Brennan. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved siblings, James, Kevin, John and Loretta; and by her brother-in-law, Stephen Donnelly.

   Growing up in Central Islip, New York, she left to graduate high school in Fairfax, VA, and lived her adult life in Falls Church, VA, Stonington and Suffield, CT, and lastly in Edenton.

   In her professional career she held many roles from bookkeeper to art importer to entrepreneur and, most notably, as a librarian at Kent Memorial Library in Suffield. As a child she told people she wanted to read every book in the library...and she came close. She devoured books, sometimes reading, by conservative estimates, between 150 and 200 books a year.

   While living in Suffield, Joan was involved with many organizations for her children and was a devoted communicant of Sacred Heart Church. She took up painting, becoming an accomplished folk painter. She had many friends and fond memories there. Retiring to Edenton, she enjoyed the kindness of the community and the history of the town. She became involved in the Edenton Yacht Club and at St. Ann Catholic Church. When her health permitted she was an active volunteer at some of the historic sites in town.

   Joan leaves behind her best friend, caregiver, and husband, Brian Donnelly, who lovingly, painstakingly and patiently cared for her over these last several years, holding her hand until her last breath. For her, he carried a burden no spouse should have to carry. Also surviving is her daughter and other best friend, Nancy Frazier of Spotsylvania, VA who was dedicated to assisting with her care these last years; her sons, Michael McCarter (wife, Tukkie) of Rocky Hill, CT, Kevin McCarter of East Windsor, CT, Derek Donnelly (wife, Michaela) of Suffield, CT, and Colin Donnelly of Woodland Hills, CA; her grandchildren, Nichol McCarter, Ryan McCarter, Connor Frazier, Mason McCarter, Jack Donnelly and Kate Donnelly; as well as her beloved sister Patricia Sizemore of Hudson, FL. Others left behind are three dearly loved sisters-in-law, Catherine Brennan of Central Islip, NY, Joanne Seglem (husband, Lee) of Princeton, NJ, and Marybeth Donnelly of Mahwah, NJ; and several cousins, nieces, nephews, and their respective spouses and children.

   Friends may visit with the family Friday, April 28th, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton. Immediately following the visitation there will be a Prayer Service held in the chapel of the funeral home.

    The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, May 5th, at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, Hill Street, Suffield. Friends may call to Heritage Funeral Home, 1240 Mountain Road, W. Suffield, on Thursday, May 4th, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.   

   In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater New Jersey in the name of her brother-in-law, Stephen Donnelly, (www.alznj.org), or to the Friends of the Kent Memorial Library, 50 North Main Street, Suffield, CT 06078.

   The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the many members of the Edenton community who supported Joan and Brian these past few years. In particular, Dottie from St. Ann Church, Peter and Lee from the Edenton Yacht Club who along with many neighbors generously provided company to Joan each week, enabling Brian to attend church and visit the market. The family would also like recognize and thank Kathy from Amedysis Hospice, and most of all Mattie who lovingly cared for and comforted Joan day in and day out.

   On the eve of breast cancer surgery in 2011 Joan said, “I’m at peace, no matter what happens. I’ve forgiven everyone that I wanted to forgive.” May we all be so lucky.

   Online condolences may be made to family by visiting www.millerfhc.com.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Brennan Donnelly, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, April 28, 2023

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Miller Funeral Home & Crematory

735 Virginia Road, Edenton, NC 27932

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Prayer Service

Friday, April 28, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Miller Funeral Home & Crematory

735 Virginia Road, Edenton, NC 27932

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 3

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree