In Memory of




Obituary for Joan Shea Buckley

It is with great sadness but with incredible memories that we share the news of the passing of Joan Shea Buckley on Friday, February 10, 2023, after a brief illness.

Joan was born in Hartford on May 16, 1934, to John F. and Alice (Goode) Shea.  She was proudly educated at Catholic schools, first St. Patrick’s in Hartford and then Mount St. Joseph Academy, class of 1951.

After The Mount, Joan joined her mother working at the Post Office and then spread her wings to work at Hanson Whitney Manufacturing.  It was there that she first met her friend of over 60 years Lucille Gioello.

The north end of Hartford met the south end when Joan married John F. Buckley Jr. in February of 1958, and quickly welcomed their first child, Tim.  Just short of 4 years later, they welcomed John III.  Joan was now a full-time mom, leaving the work force to raise “her boys”, developing lifelong friends in neighbors Janet, Gail, and Carol.  Her commitment to her Catholic faith and social skills came together well by being very involved in St. Brigid parish in Elmwood and the Women’s Guild there.  She served proudly as President of the Guild in 1965-66 and was recently honored as the oldest living former President of the Guild.

Joan rejoined the work force as the kids got older. First working in bookkeeping for the Harvest Hill Package Store chain, then subsequently the Heublein Company, manufacturers of a variety of liquors and a mainstay in Hartford for decades.  She was very proud of her employment and association with the company and happy to reunite with Lucille there.

After retirement, she enjoyed her winter trips to Florida, beach outings to the Connecticut shore with friends, and conversations with anyone who had a set of ears!  She was one of the most outgoing people you would ever want to meet, bringing people together, making sure everyone from her various circles all knew each other at a gathering.  For a couple decades, she has been a fixture at the Fernwood Restaurant in West Hartford, often 6 days a week. (They are closed on Sunday).  Whether you were a first-time customer, a regular, 25 years old or 75, Joan would befriend you and ask for your story.  And if you were a first timer, she would introduce you to everyone else.

Nothing however, surpassed her love for family.  She cherished every event and every conversation with each of her many nieces and nephews, grandchildren and any of their friends who might be there. She was so proud of her Irish heritage and happy to break into an Irish jig at the slightest of suggestion. People were her lifeblood right to the end of her wonderful life.

Joan leaves to remember her, sons Tim (Patty O’Neil) and John (Carey) and grandchildren Maura (Brian Loomis), Shannon (fiancé Andrew Hoopes), Molly and Hannah Buckley and her many cousins as well as her eleven nieces and eight nephews.  She was predeceased by her former husband John “Jack” Buckley, siblings Eileen, John, Alice, Bill, Ray and Jerry, as well as nephews John Kingsley and John Boardman.

Calling hours will be at St. Timothy’s Church, 1116 North Main St., West Hartford, on Monday from 4-7 pm with a Mass of Christian Burial, Tuesday at 10:00 at St. Timothy’s Church.  Burial will be immediately following at West Meadow Cemetery in Newington.  The procession will leave St. Timothy’s from North Main St., traveling around the block to King Philip Dr. for those who park behind the church, the procession will have you join there.  A reception will be held at Wampanoag Country Club beginning at 12:45 pm. To view a livestream of Joan's Mass of Christian Burial, please click here.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joan’s memory can be made to The Irish American Home Society 132 Commerce St. Glastonbury, CT  06033 or The Children’s Law Center of CT.  30 Arbor St. Hartford, CT 06106.  Online condolences may be made at