Joan Albanese Fenech, 99, left this life on Sunday, March 3, 2013, as a result of complications from a stroke. Born to Italian immigrant parents, Antonetta De Cristofaro and Vincenzo Albanese, on May 15, 1913, in Buffalo, N.Y., Mrs. Fenech lived most of her life on Long Island. A graduate of Richmond Hill High School, Class of 1931, she pursued a career as an executive secretary working for American Chemical Co. and Carson Lundine and Shaw, a Park Avenue architectural firm that helped design the Guggenheim Museum and the addition to the Louvre in France. She ended her career as secretary to New York Supreme Court Justice Judge Thom. Politically active, Mrs. Fenech held many offices in the Women's Republican Club of Suffolk County on Long Island and she served as president twice.
After her retirement in 1981 she and her husband moved to Mathews County to be near their family. Since that time Mrs. Fenech has been a member of the Kings Daughters, the Homemakers Club and a member of Church of Francis de Sales in Mathews.
Mrs. Fenech enjoyed traveling, gardening, cooking and sewing, but most of all she and her husband, Alfred, enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren who were blessed with their love, guidance and wisdom. They gave the gift of extended family, taught them life skills and helped build lifetime memories. Gregarious and affable, a friend to all she met, with always a kind word or deed, she will be sorely missed, but most especially by her family. She will color our lives for as long as we live.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Thomas Fenech, on Jan. 7, 2006, and her grandson, Bryan Joseph McLeod, on Jan. 26, 1981.
She is survived by her daughter, Elaine Fenech McLeod Collins (John) of Williamsburg; her grandsons, Matthew James McLeod (Stacy) of Richmond and Geoffrey Alexander McLeod (Ashley) of Cobb Shores; and her great-grandchildren, Kyle James McLeod, Grayson Steven McLeod and Caitlyn Reese McLeod.
A Funeral Mass officiated by the Rev. Robert L. Cummins will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, March 9, at Church of Francis de Sales, Mathews. Interment will follow in The Church of The Visitation Cemetery in Topping. The family will receive friends Friday, March 8, from 4 until 5:30 p.m. at Hogg Funeral Home, Gloucester Point.
In memory of Joan A. Fenech, memorial contributions may be given to St. Jude Children's Hospital, Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis TN 38148.