Joan J. Sylvester, 73, a resident of Clarks Summit for the past 28 years, died Tuesday. She was courageous and dignified throughout her struggle with brain cancer. She and her husband, Robert J. Sylvester, celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary in October.
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Born in Jessup, daughter of the late Nazzareno "Nello" and Betty Ogrodowczyk Luciani, she graduated from Jessup High School as salutatorian of the commercial class in 1955. After graduating with honors from Lackawanna College, she began working with All State Insurance and continued her employment until she accompanied her husband as he fulfilled his active military duty obligation as an officer in the Army. They spent time at Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Dix, N.J., before moving to Milford, Conn.
In 1983, she returned to Pennsylvania, when her husband became employed at the University of Scranton, and for nearly 19 years she dedicated herself to traveling with and supporting her husband in his work. In 2002, she was recognized for her efforts on behalf of the university when the then-president, the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., awarded a full-tuition presidential scholarship in their honor.
In return for her unconditional love and devotion, the entire family provided countless hours of compassionate care while she was at home. During her struggle they never left her side, and she died peacefully surrounded by her family and the dedicated staff of the VNA Hospice at CMC, who maintained her comfort and dignity during her final days.
Also surviving are two daughters, Beth Jennings and husband, Craig, Milford, Conn., and their two daughters, Cara and Sarah; Leah Timlin and husband, Tom, Clarks Summit, and their children, Thomas and Daniel; and a son, Robert Jr., Monroe, and children, Robert III and Christina, and their mother, Deborah; a sister-in-law, Nancy Luciani, Clarks Summit; nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was also preceded in death by a brother, John J. Luciani.
The funeral will be Saturday at 9:15 a.m. from the Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Services Inc., 111 Colburn Ave., Clarks Summit, with Mass at 10 in Our Lady of the Snows Church, South State Street, Clarks Summit. Interment, St. John's Cemetery, Jessup.
Relatives and friends may call Friday, 4 to 8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Scranton Preparatory School Athletic Fund, 1000 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA 18509; or to the Friendship House, 1509 Maple St., Scranton, PA 18505. For more information, directions or to send an online condolence, visit www.jen ningscalvey.com.
Published in Scranton Times from Apr. 13 to Apr. 14, 2011