Published in the August 3, 2018 edition

MELROSE — Joan D. (Mahoney) Azevedo, 78, longtime resident of Melrose and Naples, Florida, passed away peacefully, with her loving family at her side, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House on Sunday, July 29, 2018.

Born on July 12, 1940 in Boston, Joan was the second of three children born to the late Michael J. and Mary C. (O’Donnell) Mahoney. She was raised and educated in Somerville, where she graduated from Somerville High School in 1958. On October 24, 1959, Joan was married to the late Robert J. Azevedo. While her new husband was serving in the US Marines, Joan lived with her parents and raised her new born daughter, born in 1960. In 1965, Joan, her husband and young daughter and son, moved from Belmont to Melrose.

The Azevedos would eventually own two residences in Melrose and go on to raise a family of four children. A full-time mom in every sense of the word, Joan also worked part time at two Melrose businesses: Newbury Street Hair Salon on Main Street and, later, at North Suburban Eye Associates. At each of these positions, Joan’s circle of friends expanded. She was that kind of person; her smile and spontaneously friendly demeanor were beacons that just naturally attracted others.

Even during her years of working outside the home, Joan continued to put the care and well-being of her family and home first, making sure each of her four children began the day with a hearty breakfast and ended it with a delicious home-cooked dinner. All the while maintaining a home that was a model of comfort, order and pride. And for decades, her Sunday routine included visits to and shopping excursions with her own beloved mother, Mary “Maisie” Mahoney.

Instantly likeable, sociable, and outgoing, Joan had a large circle of friends, many of whom extended back to her high school days. Once you were in Joan’s orbit of friends, you stayed there. She maintained intimate connections to friends old and new, and would always inquire as to how their children -and eventually grandchildren – were doing. Her memory of people and events was a marvel to behold.

During her years in Melrose, Joan enjoyed spending time with her friends at Bellevue Golf Club where she and her family were longtime members. But as sociable and friendly as she was, Joan also took immense pleasure in more solitary activities: taking intricate care of her home, planting flowers and tending to her garden, and baking delicious treats for her children (and their friends). Thanks to Joan, it was a settled fact among her children’s friends that bountiful snacks were guaranteed at the Azevedo house.

For the last 15 years of her life, Joan nurtured a large network of connections that were dear to her heart while spending the winter months in Naples, Florida, where she discovered a renewed joy in new experiences and friendships. By her side for many of these years was her longtime companion, the late Leo Marino. While in Naples, she’d often receive a Friday evening phone call from one of her children in the chilly Northeast and inform them that she was off to watch the sunset at a local beach. The pleasure in her voice unmistakable – a pleasure that was richly deserved.

Regardless of where she was living or how she was spending her days, Joan’s life was centered around family. Any call with Joan would start with her asking, “Where are you?” She wanted to gain an anchoring vision of how a loved one was moving through their day. And she’d inquire about the smallest detail from a conversation from weeks past. Miles and circumstances did not lessen Joan’s daily interest in and concern about the lives of those she loved so dearly.

To say that Joan was a proud grandmother is a vast understatement. To witness Joan with one of her infant grandchildren was to see a person in her full essence. Her care and concern were gifts that flowed naturally and continually. Her ten grandchildren and one great-grandson were always on her mind and in her heart.

Joan’s departure leaves a great void in the hearts of her family and loved ones. But it is a void that, in time, will be filled with loving, laughter-filled memories of a strong, generous and dedicated daughter, sister, friend, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. The immensity of today’s grief is but a reflection of the immeasurable love and gratitude we will forever have for her.

Joan was the devoted mother of Lynn Shea and her husband Michael of Melrose, Michael Azevedo of Amesbury, Laura Azevedo and her husband Michael Hannon of Melrose, and Robert Azevedo and his wife Julie of Manchester, N.H. Dear sister of Ann Radochia and her husband Bill of Arlington, and the late James M. Mahoney. Cherished grandmother of Matthew and his wife Elizabeth, Megan, Ryan, Michael, Aimee, Luke, Oliver, Lucy, Danielle, and Leo. Proud great-grandmother of Thomas.

Relatives and friends will gather in honor and remembrance of Joan’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Thursday, August 2 from 3-6 p.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at Bellevue Golf Club, 320 Porter St., Melrose at 6:30 p.m. Gifts in Joan’s memory may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 220 N. Main St., Ste. 104, Natick, MA 01760. For online tribute or directions: