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Joan Elizabeth Cali

June 14, 1934 ~ September 16, 2019 (age 85)


Joan Elizabeth Cali, precious daughter, loving wife, devoted mother and grandmother was called back to our Lord on September 16, 2019.

Joan loved her husband, family and friends and would have never left them but the effects of two severe strokes only days apart made her survival impossible.

Joan is survived by her husband of 58 years, Frank Cali, sons Douglas and Matthew Cali, Daughter in-Law Lori, and grandchildren, Augustine, Sarina, Andrew, Jennifer and Christopher Cali.

Joan’s only sibling, her sister Ruth, preceded her return to our Lord in 2007.

Joan leaves behind many family and friends who were all loved by her and provided her with much love and care. Her father and mother in-law, Dr. Saro and Mrs. Marcella Cali became her parents and her sister’s in-law, Cynthia and Sarina, offered her a large family that she had missed as a young girl.

Her friends were as close to her as family and in the last chapter of her life while living in Gig Harbor, Washington, Donna and Larry Bonnencamp, her next-door neighbors for 25 years had become family as did Tim and Jill Geringer. Neighbor’s Hank and Fran Barr and Ron and Bev Casello were also extremely close and supportive to Joan and Frank.

Joan was born in Queens, New York on June 14, 1934, the daughter of Charles and Helen Heydolph. She was a devoted daughter to her mother and father. Sadly Joan lost her mother to cancer when she was a young girl and was cared for by her father, relatives and close friends including Dorothy McGraw and Joan Chadwick, who were a blessing and sisters to her from when she was a young girl to the time of her passing.

Joan life was rich and full. Joan was an accomplished student and majored in English at NYU while working full time to support herself. While working at Swiss Air in Manhattan, New York, she met Frank Cali who would become her husband on December 16, 1961 in a joyous wedding held at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Nearly a year after their wedding Joan and Frank had their first son, Douglas followed a year and half later by their second son, Matthew. Joan and Frank then moved from the New York City to Newburgh, New York so that their sons would have the opportunity to grow up in the country. Joan was a very devoted and active wife and mother and with her husband, Frank, made sure that their family had love, care and everything else that would make for an ideal family life. Joan cared very much for others and volunteered to teach severely handicapped children while caring for her own family. Joan loved and cared for her ailing mother in-law, Marcella Cali, and held her in her arms as she was called back to our Lord in 1972.

After moving from Newburg, New York to Ossining, New York, in 1974 Joan worked for Marynoll Catholic Missions supporting priests and nuns in their mission to provide help to the disadvantaged around the world. Later with her family Joan moved to Irvine, California in 1979 and she worked for the California College of Medicine at the University of California. A later move back to New York, Joan worked for Reader’s Digest followed by another move back to California where she returned to the California College of Medicine.

Joan and Frank made what was considered their last move to Gig Harbor, Washington in 1994 where they settled into their home of 24 years. Joan finished her professional life with World Vision where she was a devoted and hard-working supporter of its many relief missions around the world. In retirement Joan volunteered as a tutor to disadvantaged youth. Joan and Frank became grandparents in 2002 and were blessed by the lives of their five grandchildren. Joan truly loved the company of her grandchildren who provided her with great happiness and joy.

In Gig Harbor, Joan was an active member of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church for many years and was enriched by the many deep friendships she formed with the church’s members. Joan was devoted Christian her entire life and lived the Word of God in her daily life.

Joan’s devotion to her husband Frank was evident her entire life and their marriage was the cornerstone of her entire life.

Joan’s memorial service will be performed in Gig Harbor, Washington at a yet to be determined date. Joan will be laid to rest at Haven of Rest in Gig Harbor, Washington.

A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest. (919) 556-5811

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