Joan Theresa Chaney, née Muren, took her final breath on July 4th. Her loving husband of 59 years, John Lester Chaney, and her oldest son, Jack Robert Chaney (Prince Frederick, MD), were holding her hand. She also leaves behind her three other children, Catherine Ann Chaney (Seattle, WA, Peter Camiel), Donald Jeffrey Chaney (Westport, CT, Hana Chaney) and Ann Margaret Griffin (Tomball, TX, Mark Griffin). Also her loving grandchildren, Katie, Jackson, Joan, Elaine, Charlotte, Kristina, Daniel and her great grandson, Noah. |
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Joan overcame childhood tragedy when her father and baby brother died. Joan was raised thereafter by her beloved mother, Frances Russell Muren, who died in 1970. Joan lovingly cared for her mother in the family home during her final illness. As a child, Joan moved with her mother to Saint Petersburg, FL and loved riding her bike around St. Pete and to St. Pete Beach. She and friends in her girl-scout troop rigged up a rowboat into a sailboat, dubbing it "Wimpy." She told stories of her childhood adventures on the water and loved the ocean for the rest of her life. Joan and her mother later moved to Pittsburgh, PA. Joan graduated from Duquesne University and became a Registered Nurse, after training at Mercy Hospital with the Sisters of Mercy. Joan later studied for a Master's Degree in nursing from Catholic University in Washington, DC, but was a few credits shy of receiving her degree because she was taking care of her young children. Joan worked for the Public Health Service in DC before meeting John. They were married on September 10, 1955, at Saint Thomas Apostle Catholic Church, by Father Thomas M. Duffy (now Monsignor Duffy). As a Public Health nurse in her twenties, Joan was charged with finding patients to make sure they took their tuberculosis medications - this sometimes entailed going into bars to find people who were not eager to be disturbed. She tackled that job with the courage and fortitude with which she tackled all of her life's trials. After raising her children with John, in Lanham, MD, Joan later returned to the profession she loved, working as a nurse at health units of federal government agencies. In the year 2000, Joan and John moved to New Market, MD. Joan loved looking at the cows standing and laying so peacefully in their pastures. John drew a beautiful color crayon picture of a cow for her that hangs in the kitchen. Joan loved life. She lived large and had many lifelong friends and was always making new friends, because of her warmth and generosity. She was an accomplished seamstress who sewed many beautiful outfits for her children and grandchildren. She made dolls, costumes and toys. She made the curtains that still hang in her home. She made very lovely wedding dresses for both of her daughters. She was a wonderful homemaker, always looking for a way to ease the lives of her children, her husband, her grandchildren, her friends. She supported her children in every endeavor, wanting the best for them. Joan loved to play bridge and greatly enjoyed spending time with the "girls" - her Bridge Club friends with whom she played bridge only a few weeks ago. She also enjoyed her Book Club friends.
Joan was beautiful. Many people remarked on her light blue eyes that sparkled. She loved giving family members the delicious fudge that was her specialty. Only a few weeks ago, she made sure to give the last batch of fudge to one of her dearest, oldest friends, Marie Rogers, and her daughter, Margaret.
Joan was a cancer survivor of seventeen years but was finally felled by the disease despite fighting a courageous battle with all of her might. Her family takes some solace knowing that her decline was fairly swift and that she enjoyed living these past months at her home, with her husband and children, and at times her beloved niece, Daria Crean (Bethesda, MD), and that she laughed and joked. Joan was a devoted Catholic and has gone to be with our loving God. One night when Catherine inadvertently woke her mother up, Joan said, "Oh, I thought you were an angel." She then started calling all of her children her angels, but of course she was our angel.
A Memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, July 12, 2014, at Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 118 East Second Street, Frederick, MD. Interment will be private.
Donations may be made in her honor to Hospice of Frederick County, O. O. Box 1999, Frederick, MD 21702.
Arrangements are with the Keeney and Basford Funeral Home, and online condolences may be shared ay keeneybasford.com.
Published Online in The Frederick News-Post on July 8, 2014
Published in Print in The Frederick News-Post on July 8, 2014