Joan D. Donnelly

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  • "Paul Carolyn and Family. We are very sorry for the loss of..."
    - Arlene, Tom, Shelly Hug
  • "So sorry for your loss. All of you are in my prayers."
    - Deborah McAvoy-Demers
  • "Our prayers are with you and the family"
    - James Zillgitt
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    - james Zillgitt
  • "Paul, Carolyn, Rich Sorry for your loss"
    - Janet and Mary Margaret
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Donnelly, Joan D. GREEN ISLAND Joan D. Donnelly, 72, entered her final journey with the Lord Jesus Christ on January 8, 2014 at home surrounded by her loving family after a most graceful and courageous battle with breast cancer. Born on November 1, 1941 in Catskill, she was the daughter of the late Phillip Jr. and Celia Ruzzi and wife to the late Richard P. Donnelly Sr. of Troy. She was also predeceased by her sister, Rosemary Maddelone. Joan was raised on the Ruzzi family farm and shared the title of "Prettiest Girls in Greene County" with her "Sissy" Rachel. Joan's early adventures included working at the area resorts, Tiffany's in New York City and an education in cosmetology from Colonna Beauty School in Albany. She moved to Troy, married in 1963 and continued for 10 years as a hairdresser both at Colarusso's in Troy and at home as she raised her three children. She later attended HVCC and entered a 16 year career with New York State Dept. of Tax & Finance until her retirement in 1994. She then enjoyed a lot of traveling including many trips to Seattle, Wash. and special trips to the Galapagos Islands, Dominican Republic, several cruises and her favorite annual family trip to Sea Isle City, N.J. She delighted in the ocean, dancing, teddy bears, the color purple and the movie "Dirty Dancing", but her life's treasure was her family who adored her. She had a natural ability to make people laugh even when she was not trying and was loved by many. Joan had lifelong dedication and devotion to the care of her sister Isabelle and truly cherished her special relationships with each of her grandchildren. She especially loved the time she spent with her companion, Robert who never left her side. Her favorite quote was the creed which Joan followed when living her life: "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; It is about learning to dance in the rain." Joan is survived by her loving and compassionate companion, Robert (Oblinger) Delavare of Seattle; her children, Richard Donnelly Jr. (Jane) of Clifton Park, Paul Donnelly (Mary Ann) of Brunswick and Carolyn Donnelly of Cohoes; grandchildren, Austin Sacca, Anna Donnelly, Tyler Donnelly; great-grandchild, Gianna Sacca and sisters, Rachel (Philip) Wache of Southington, Conn. and Isabelle Ruzzi of East Greenbush. Several nieces and nephews also survive. A celebratory Mass of Joan's life will held at Our Lady of Victory Church, North Lake Avenue, Troy at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2014. Memorial contributions in Joan's name may be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. To express your sympathy or share a treasured memory, visit

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Phillip J Brendese Funeral Home
133 Broad St
Waterford, NY 12188
(518) 237-8296
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Published in Albany Times Union from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2014
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