St James Roman Catholic Church
115 E Delaware Ave
Pennington, NJ 08534
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Joan (McMahon) O'Connor

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Joan (McMahon) O'Connor Obituary
Joan O'Connor (nee McMahon)

Joan O'Connor (nee McMahon) showed her generation of American-born Irish women how to enjoy some of the opportunities emerging for women in a fast changing world, while respecting traditional family relationships and rituals.

Her career was unique and included long stints as an investor, sales professional, amateur Irish dancer, and community organizer. Joan inherited the wisdom of a value investor from her mother, Margaret Tiernan McMahon. The teddy bear Joan received from attending the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting accompanied her to the hospital in the hopes that the "punter of Pennington" would have another opportunity to channel the "Sage of Omaha" investment advice. Joan's failed fast. The family surrounding her at Capital Health Center in Hopewell NJ didn't witness a final rally.

When Joan relocated from Emerson, NJ to Maryland for Ed's "retirement job" at the FAA in Washington DC, the couple enjoyed the comradrie of Irish dancers, suburban walkers, new friends, and an eclectic assortment of "interesting" people.

Traveling with their children and grandchildren to her son, Ed and her daughter in law Alicia's beach oasis in Brigantine, NJ was a constant source of solace and entertainment. Daughter Loretta was a constant source of sustenance and connectivity to a bigger world and better food! Outlier offspring further from home fueled Joan's pioneer spirit.

Joan reportedly felt a great sense of completion after returning to her mothers ancestral home in County Armagh this past August with her husband, son-in-law Jonathamn Berman, and her South Africa-based daughter and grandchildren. Future celebrations of Joan O'Connor's life will be organized in Maryland and Ireland during 2018.

Joan pursued an unconventional path to her last breath. She died on Jan 20th from complications associated with her chronic liver condition. Family surrounded her. Ed, her beloved husband of 55 years, and her children: Margaret, Loretta, Ed, and Brian. Five grandchildren helped keep "nanny" young at heart and hip to current trends through their Whats'App, Facebook, and Instagram exchanges.

A tea ceremony, honoring her recent interest in Zen Buddhism and meditation, will be held at Turtle Back Zendo, 4 Alyce Court, Lawrenceville NJ on Friday, December 22 at 12 noon.

An intimate church service for immediate family and local friends will be held at St James Roman Catholic Church in Pennington NJ on Saturday, December 23 at 9am.

Please feel free to share your "Joan's Pearls of wisdom" in the coming weeks and months. And also your photos of this amazing woman. She touched many lives! In lieu of flowers, Joan nominated the WFUV Irish Show as a community radio station she'd like to continue to support. The family is establishing a "WFUV Friends of Joan OConnor" fund. Contributions can be made by calling 1-877-WFUV-907 or emailing [email protected]
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