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FICHERA, Joanne Therese

(McLaughlin) Died on June 30th at Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers from complications after a long and brave struggle with multiple sclerosis. Joanne was the loving wife of the late Andrew Joseph Fichera, M.D. She grew up in Malden and Everett, Massachusetts, the daughter of Walter and Julia (Fleming) McLaughlin. She graduated from Girls Catholic High School in Malden, and completed a bachelor's degree in English at Emmanuel College, Boston. She loved teaching first grade children for several years. In 1951, Joanne married her high school sweetheart, Andy Fichera, just as he began his studies at Georgetown University Medical School. They lived in the Washington DC area for four years. With Andy a captain and doctor in the US Air Force, they spent two years in Sault Ste Marie in the upper peninsula of Michigan, at Kinross Air Force Base. They returned to Massachusetts in 1957 and, shortly after, moved to Winchester. With Andy in private medical practice, Joanne ran his office for many years. Joanne was a happy and loving wife, mother, and friend to all. She was compassionate, funny, kind, and fun-loving, including during the last years of her illness and while enduring great pain and suffering. She was incredibly intelligent, still reciting Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson, even in her last days. That intellectual curiosity kept her reading and learning new things daily, whether a book on physics or continuing to try to study the Italian language. She wanted to learn about the lives of everyone she met, as she shared her compassion and kindnesses with them. She found great humor in many small and gentle things on a daily basis, and, in spite of her physical limitations and pain, almost always had a smile to give to all. Joanne is survived by four children, Andrew B. Fichera of Scituate, Massachusetts, Susanna J. Fichera and her husband Michael Mahan of Bowdoinham, Maine, John T. M. Fichera and his wife Jane of Jackson, New Hampshire, and Joanne P. Lortie and her husband Paul of Churchville, Maryland. She also leaves her grandchildren, Nicole, Rose, Domenic, Matthew, Douglas, Allison, and Helen, all very dear to her heart. In addition, she is survived by her nieces and nephews and their families, many friends, and all the girls from "club." Joanne and her family would also like to thank the many compassionate caretakers during these last years, who treated her with respect and love and, often, song. A special thank you to all those at Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, a blessed place. In lieu of flowers, Joanne has requested donations to a charity she most loved, St. Jude Hospital for Children. Relatives and friends invited. Funeral from the Gaffey Funeral Home, 43 High St., Medford Square, MEDFORD, July 7 at 9 am Followed by a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at Saint Joseph's Church, Medford, at 10 am. Visiting hours Wednesday, July 6th, from 5 pm to 8 pm. Interment Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford. To send flowers or condolences, please visit:

Published in The Boston Globe on July 5, 2016
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