Will be remembered for her love of Christmas and family

Published August 15, 2019

NORTH READING — Joan E. (O’Leary) Costa, 73, of North Reading, passed away suddenly on August 8, 2019.

She was the loving daughter of the late John O’Leary and Genevieve (Fougere) O’Leary. She was the devoted oldest sister to Sherry Previte of Rhode Island, Kathy Commander and her husband Rick of Plymouth, Peggy Zanelli and her husband Lou of Pembroke, and the late Jack O’Leary of Medford.

Born on June 7, 1946, Joan was raised in Medford, graduated from Medford High School and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Education from Salem State University. She taught elementary school for several years before starting her family. While raising her three children and working part time, Joan attended classes at night and obtained a business degree in Accounting from Middlesex Community College. Joan worked in the accounting field until her much anticipated retirement five years ago. Joan embraced her retirement and remained very active. She enjoyed vacationing and traveled to many places including Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Nashville, Bermuda and Las Vegas.

Joan was loved by so many people. She was an amazing sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, mother-in-law, cousin and friend. She enjoyed going to the movies, the theater, playing cards, board games, cribbage and gardening. She was a passionate Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins fan.

Joan will always be remembered for her love of Christmas. She loved Christmas music, baking and sharing many different types of Christmas cookies, and the magic of the season was visible in every room of her home.

She loved animals and she kept a stash of dog treats on hand for the many dogs that visited. She was a wonderful hostess and she enjoyed entertaining and cooking delicious meals for friends and family.

When Joan moved to North Reading in 1975, she made it her home. She was a faithful parishioner at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church. Since retirement, she volunteered weekly at the Flint Memorial Library working in the children’s section where she especially enjoyed assisting with the monthly craft.

Her greatest accomplishment in life was raising her three children. Joan was everything to Amy, Becca and Ben. She was a model of strength, sacrifice and love. She is survived by her children, Amy Jacobs and her husband Don of Conifer, Colorado; Becca Richard and her husband Chris of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Ben Costa of North Reading. Her greatest joy in life was being Grammy to her four grandchildren, Sammy, Chloe, Mia and Nick.

Joan loved to read and had a great sense of humor. Joan also loved nothing more than a good obituary. We know she is smiling down on us now.

Relatives and friends are most respectfully invited to attend a funeral Mass at St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter St. (Rte. 62), North Reading, on Friday, August 16 at 10:30 a.m. Visiting hours will be held at the Cota Funeral Home, 335 Park St. (corner of Park St. and Rte. 28), North Reading, at the Reading line, on Thursday, August 15 from 4-8 p.m. Interment will be private.

Please omit flowers and to honor Joan’s memory send a greeting card, visit a neighbor, order the dessert and raise your glass to toast her. To offer an online tribute, please visit: www.cotafuneralhomes.com.