Joan Hennessy Zephel Horgan, age 89, passed away October 7, 2020 from metastatic cancer. She was born on Sunday, November 16, 1930 in Pittsburgh, PA, the beloved only child of Philomenia (Minnie) and Joseph Hennessy. She eloped and married the love of her life James W. Zephel who preceded her in death in 1953.
Joan attended Our Lady of Mercy Academy and the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Bachelor’ Degree in English Literature. Married twice, Joan is survived by her four children and their spouses, Gretchen and James Wasniewski, James and Diane Horgan, Beth and Kaman Johnston, and Kathleen Hennessy. She is also survived by her nine grandchildren, Casey Rheaume, Cory Wasniewski, Ashley Harper, Ryan Horgan, Jenniffer Moran, Jessica Hays, Jodi Johnston, Kaitlin Hennessy, and Andrew Hennessy, and 11 great-grandchildren.
In her younger days, Joan was an expert horsewoman and a crack shot with a rifle. She was a wonderful cook and baker of cookies. She was without fail gracious, kind, and patient. He favorite advice to her grandchildren was always, “wait and see;” advice they rarely listened to, but appreciated nonetheless. She never went anywhere without treats in her purse for her favorite four-legged, furry friends.
Joan was always an artist at heart and as a founding member of St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church and grade school in Upper St. Clair, PA, Joan created and taught the school’s art program for many years. She continued to draw and paint until her death. Her artwork will be hung with great pride in the Dressing Rooms of the Monroe Arts Center.
A lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, PA, Joan recently set out on an adventure and moved to Monroe, WI with her daughter, where she quickly became part of the fabric of the town and made many friends. Upon moving to Monroe, Joan bought a new home, tore it down to the studs and rebuilt it having the time of her life. She will be greatly missed in Monroe, as well as Pittsburgh.
Interment will be private. A celebration of Joan’s life will be held with a memorial mass at St. Clare of Assisi Parish at St. Victor’s Catholic Church in Monroe, WI on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 11:00 am with Monsignor Larry Bakke as celebrant.
Visitation will be held on Thursday from 10:00 am until the time of service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation in Joan’s name to the Monroe Arts Center Foundation. Shriner Hager Gohlke Funeral Home is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to the family at: shriner111.com.
Joan’s loving family will hold her close and her memory will be our blessing.