Obituaries » Joan Helen Caffrey
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November 6, 1933 - November 30, 2020
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Joan Helen Caffrey, age 87, a lifelong West Scranton resident, passed away peacefully Monday at Hospice of the Sacred Heart, shortly after admission.
Born on November 6, 1933, in Scranton, Joan was the daughter of the late Francis and Clare (Conway) Caffrey. After graduating as valedictorian of St. Patrick’s High School’s Class of 1951, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in education from Marywood College on a full scholarship. Without the scholarship her family wouldn’t have been able to send her to college and she was always very grateful to Marywood and the IHM Sisters for her education. Later, she returned to earn her master’s degree.
Spending her first year as a teacher in Binghamton, New York, Joan returned home to teach at Lafayette School followed by Charles Sumner School where she remained for the duration of her career that spanned over four decades.
You may have spotted Joan walking through West Side. She walked everywhere: school, church, doctor appointments, Brunetti’s, the beautician. If she had somewhere to be and could get there by walking, that’s how she went, no matter how many people stopped to offer her a ride.
Her life was filled with simple loves, including reading a good book, cleaning her house, and watching the ocean, but nothing was stronger than her love for teaching.
“Miss Caffrey” often said she never worked a day in her life because she truly enjoyed going to work every single day. She adored her students and took pride in being their teacher. Joan cherished memories of her days in the classroom and would always light up when she ran into former students around town. She made a difference in so many lives, as shown by the responses to the Facebook post of her passing in the West Scranton group.
Throughout retirement, Joan filled her days by tutoring pupils and volunteering at the Lackawanna Historical Society. A devoted Roman Catholic, she was a faithful member of St. Patrick’s Parish in West Scranton.
Although Joan only had one niece, Maureen, she was adoringly referred to as “Aunt Joan” by all Maureen’s friends and later by the friends of her great nieces and nephew. Whether you knew her as Joan, Miss Caffrey or Aunt Joan, you were always greeted with a gentle kindness.
She is survived by her niece, Maureen O’Malley and husband Patrick of Scranton; her great nieces, Meghan Loven and husband Robert, Morgan Hall and husband Justin and Monica O’Malley; her great nephew, Patrick O’Malley and fiancée Emily Granville; her great-great nephew, Zachary Loven; and her goddaughter, Suzanne Wolsieffer.
Her brother, Edward Caffrey, and his wife, Marion, also preceded her in death.
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Saturday at 11:00AM at Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, 1608 Oram Street in Scranton, to be celebrated by Rev. Richard Fox, Pastor. Private interment will follow at the Cathedral Cemetery. Family and friends may pay their respects at the church on Saturday from 9:30AM until Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Joan’s name to either the Scholarship in Memory of the Deceased Members of the Class of 1955 c/o Office of University Advancement, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509 or to St. Patrick’s Church Projects Account, 1403 Jackson Street, Scranton PA 18504.
Due to the current situation with Covid-19, the family understands if you do not feel comfortable with attending services, we know your thoughts and prayers are with us. As Aunt Joan ended all her phone calls, “bye-bye now.”
Arrangements are under the care of the Kevin K. Kearney Funeral Home, Inc., 125 North Main Avenue, Scranton.