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Joan Heaton

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Joan Byrne Heaton 1927-2012Registered Nurse, loving Mother and Grandmother Joan Byrne Heaton passed away on January 4 at Hospice House in Haverhill, Mass., after a brief battle with cancer. She resided in Phoenix, Ariz., and made her summer home in Lowell, Mass., with her daughter, Christine Heaton Brown and her family. She was born in Pittsfield, on February 18, 1927, daughter of John and MaryBurns Byrne. She graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1944. She had two great loves in her life: Nursing and Thomas Heaton. She received her RN from St. Luke's Training School for Nurses in Pittsfield in 1947. In 1949 she married Thomas Heaton, Jr. who died tragically in a plane crash in 1950 leaving her with an 8 week old daughter. For many years Joan did private duty nursing while raising her daughter. She later worked for the Pittsfield Public Health Department as a school nurse and coordinator of baby clinics. Upon her move to Phoenix in 1972 she began working at St. Luke's as a psychiatric and substance abuse intake coordinator. Her professionalism and degree of caring won her many accolades and life-long friends. Joan found her greatest happiness in spending time with her extended family, especially when singing, playing cards, and on the beach. She was a voracious reader of fiction and biography. She loved to travel, taking the opportunity to visit her brother in Japan in 1958 where she and her daughter remained for 10 months. She delighted in the company of her grandson and her many life-long friends. Joan leaves her daughter, Christine Heaton Brown, her husband Bruce E. Brown and her grandson, Ethan Thomas Brown of Lowell, Mass., who cared for her in their home under the auspices of Hospice. She is also survived by three sisters, Bannie Giovanetti and her husband Louis of Pittsfield; Kathryn Connors of Pittsfield ; and Rita Drumm of Wrentham and her sister-in law, Joan Piehl of Lanesboro and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister Mary Maloy and brother Jack Byrne. Joan also leaves her life-long friends Aileen Lane and Helen & Dick Briggs of Pittsfield and dear friends Brenda Lysak of New Jersey and Nancy Consolian of Phoenix. FUNERAL NOTICE: Mrs. Joan Byrne Heaton died January 4. Funeral services will be Saturday Jan. 14 at 8 a.m. from the DWYER FUNERAL HOME with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 9 a.m. in St. Charles Church celebrated by Rev. A. Peter Gregory, pastor. Burial will be private. Calling hours will be at the DWYER FUNERAL HOME ON Friday Jan. 13 from 4 to 7. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hospice House of Merrimack Valley care of the DWYER FUNERAL HOME 776 North St. Pittsfield, MA 01201. Please visit www.dwyerfuneral.com to leave condolences and remembrances.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Jan. 12, 2012
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