Born March 21, 1938, in Danbury, Joan was the daughter of John and Mary (Ciegelsky) Kuliesh. She graduated from Danbury High School in the class of 1955. She was 66 years old. She and Claudia celebrated 23 years together in 2004, and recently had returned from a three-week vacation to visit family and friends, which included a weeklong cruise to Bermuda. Joan was a registered nurse and worked for 19 years at Connecticut Red Cross Blood Services in Farmington, retiring in 1996 as Assistant Director of Operations. She moved to Arizona in 1996 and worked at the Best Western Inn of Sun City as a front desk clerk and at the Daily News-Sun in Sun City as an editorial assistant.
Besides Claudia, Joan is survived by a son, Thomas and daughter-in-law, Hollie Hecht of Pine Meadow; two daughters, Kathleen and son-in-law, Sam Clifton of Castleton, VA; and Maura of New Hartford; a brother, James and sister-in-law, Jodee of Tucson,AZ; two grandchildren, Smith and Rita Mae Clifton; and two aunts, Florence Rayner and Doris Faulkner, both of Danbury. She also leaves her ex-husband, Thomas, of Naples,Fl' a sister-in-law, Martha Kuliesh' nephew John Michael Kuliesh; nieces Jennifer Wilson and Nora Kuliesh. She is also survived by several cousins and many close friends. Joan will be remembered as a generous, giving person, with a big heart, great faith and a love of travel. She was excited by the road traveled and was always ready for adventure. She was dedicated to her family and friends and always ready to help anyone in need.
A memorial funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Aug. 28, in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, New Hartford. Her ashes will be buried in Connecticut.
Best Funeral Services in Peoria,AZ. handled cremation arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix,Az 85014-5656, the American Cancer Society, 12211 W. Bell Road, Surprise,Az 85374, or to a charity of your choice