WAKEFIELD — Joanne Theresa Szczesuil, of Wakefield, passed away on Friday, September 22 at the too-young age of 75. Joanne suffered sudden cardiac arrest at home, with her partner Michael by her side and she did not suffer. Joanne will always be remembered as a vivacious and loving woman with a lust for life and tremendous loyalty for her family and friends. She had a range of talents including a near-photographic recollection of events, names and music throughout her life and was quite passionate about word searches, her Catholic faith and spiritual subjects, alongside her Italian-American heritage. But most of all, she adored her four young grandchildren.
Joanne was born October 3, 1947, in Milford to Joseph F. Brown and Rose Brown (Leoncini) and grew up in next-door Hopedale. Her adored younger brother Joseph T Brown was born 12 years after her to whom she considered herself a co-parent, given the age difference. She graduated from Hopedale High in 1965 and later matriculated from Quinsigamond College in Worcester. From there, Joanne began a career in the medical arena, with such roles through the years as EKG and Stress Test Technologist, Medical Assistant and Office Manager for various practices and hospital systems throughout Middlesex County.
In 1973 she married and moved to Framingham with her then-husband Stephen Szczesuil, where they had two children, Kevin in 1976 and Dennis in 1980. Always active in their schooling, she was passionate about road trips and interesting vacations at any opportunity the family had. She was also a long-time parishioner at St. Stephen’s Church during this time. After twenty years of marriage, she moved back to Hopedale for several years where she enjoyed living in her childhood home, attending to several home improvement projects and carrying an extensive social calendar.
In her retired years, Joanne moved to Wakefield to be closer to her son Kevin’s children, her adored first-born granddaughter Ava and grandson Alec. It was there she met her love and life partner Michael Makarewicz and they lived together until her dying day. Joanne volunteered for several causes throughout her retired life and found a thriving community of new friends in Wakefield at the Italian-American Lodge. She also traveled annually to the Bay Area of California for weeks-long visits to her son Dennis’ home, joyfully visiting her youngest grandchildren Evelyn and Henry and always making new travel friends along her way.
Joanne will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. She touched many people’s lives with her kindness, empathy, sense of humor and life-long loyalty. She is preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Rose and younger brother Joseph. She is survived by son Kevin Szczesuil and daughter-in-law Daniela Ricciardi; son Dennis Szczesuil and daughter-in-law Dana Feagles; grandchildren Ava, Alec, Evelyn and Henry; partner Michael Makarewicz; and niece Samantha Brown Witt.
Family and friends will gather for visiting hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Friday, September 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday, September 30 at 10 a.m., with a Celebration of Life luncheon to follow. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit our website at www.nicholsfuneralhome.com.