Joan Cecelia Fitzgerald, 89, longtime Laurel, Maryland, resident, passed away peacefully on July 2, 2020.
She was predeceased by her parents, Edward Fitzgerald and Margaret (Wolf/Fitzgerald) Heney, and her sister, Margaret (Fitzgerald) Johnson.
Joan is survived by her sister, Dolores (Fitzgerald) Davis; daughters, Rosemary (Steve) Haynes and Patsy (Christy) Methvin; grandchildren, Joshua Haynes, Caleb (Sage) Haynes, Esther (Kendrick) Doolan, Nichole (Noah) Burford, and Brittany (Hayden) Burke; and seven great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, she graduated from J.W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, where she active in the drill team. She also attended Temple University.
As a young woman, she worked as a switchboard operator with Bell Telephone.
From there she moved to a clerk position with the National Labor Relations Board in Philadelphia. She was later offered a training promotion and transferred to their Washington, D.C. office. By the time of her retirement in the late 1980s, she was a highly respected management analyst.
An ardent lover of barbershop quartet, she was an active member in Sweet Adelines. In addition, Joan was quite adept from an early age at ballroom and many other styles of popular dancing. For several years, she volunteered at the USO.
Joan loved Laurel, buying and residing in an historic row house for many years until moving into assisted living several years ago. She was an active member of and volunteered for the Laurel Historical Society; the Laurel Senior Friendship Club; and the Laurel Senior Strollers. In retirement, Joan participated in hundreds of senior excursions conducted by the City of Laurel. She also volunteered for several city positions, including serving on the Laurel Zoning Board of Appeals and various advisory groups.
Joan engaged in lifelong learning and during retirement volunteered at the University of Maryland, teaching word processing. She also found ample time for philosophical discourse, traveling, the arts, and dining out.
Her pursuit of truth was evidenced by her years-long, in-depth historical studies of Christian traditions conducted by many speakers, workshops and retreats facilitated by Unity Center of Light in Bowie. She was particularly drawn to the analytical writings of John Shelby Spong and Bart Ehrman. To gain broader perspective about her Christian roots, she also studied Judaism in weekly meetings at Temple Solel (Bowie), including a study tour of Israel.
Her time in this life accorded her countless friends; Joan will be deeply missed.
Upon learning of her passing, one of those friends said, ”I did not know I needed to meet Joan … until I did.”
Her love of life can be summed up in her philosophy that when in doubt, “One should eat dessert first!”
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