Joan V. Lacagnina
December 12, 1932 - September 02, 2021
PER JOAN'S FAMILIES REQUEST ALL GUESTS ARE ASKED TO WEAR MASKS AT THE FUNERAL HOME & CHURCH.
Joan's life story will be shared during her visitation at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage lane (Between 390 & Long Pond Rd.) Thursday, September 9th, 4-7 PM. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated, Friday, September 10th, 10 AM at St. John the Evangelist Church, 2400 W. Ridge Rd., immediately followed by her interment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Alzheimer's Association, 435 E. Henrietta Rd., Rochester, NY 14620 or to American Cancer Association, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 in her memory.
Joan Lacagnina was born Joan Verna Mattia on December 12, 1932 in Rochester, NY. She grew up in Rochester, NY on Emerson Street. Her parents were Angela and Michael Mattia. Her father was a tailor and her mother was a homemaker. Joan was very close to her siblings, Alma, John, Marian and Joey. Joan had a very happy childhood in spite of the Great Depression.
Joan grew up surrounded by her loving sisters and brothers, cousins and friends. She was often found helping her mother out in the kitchen. She was especially close to her father, meeting him at the bus stop after his long day of work and walking hand in hand with him back home. She loved reading, making fudge and her Shirley Temple doll, which she kept her whole life.
Joan attended Holy Rosary School. She graduated from Nazareth Academy in Rochester. She had many friends from there, but was especially close to Joanne Ronzo and her family. Joanne introduced Joan to her husband Joe on a blind date at Sea Breeze Park. Joan and Joanne remained friends till Joan's death. Joan loved to dance and attended many dances with her friends and her sister Marian.
She was especially good at math which led to her successful career. She began her career as a bookkeeper and finished it as a comptroller. She was admired by her co-workers and supervisors, one of whom tapped her to begin, grow and help run his own successful property management company.
Joan valued family above all else. She was a devoted wife to her husband Joe, the love of her life. She had four children she raised with boundless love and wisdom, Jim Lacagnina (Mary-Jo Lacagnina), Ann Lacagnina (Richard Zylka), Michael Lacagnina (Karen Burwell), and Mary Jo Smith (Craig Smith). She had 8 grandchildren, Christine Maguire, Kevin Smith (Katie Smith), Carra Lacagnina, James Andrew Lacagnina, Laura Maguire, David Smith (Jackie Smith), Mattia Lacagnina and Eveyln Lacagnina. She took great pleasure in cooking and baking for them often. She attended sporting events, plays and concerts on a regular basis. Their Nana was their greatest and happiest fan.
Joan also enjoyed her role as aunt to many nieces and nephews on both the Mattia and Lacagnina sides of the family. She loved large family gatherings with them. She often hosted them herself even as she worked full time and was busy raising her own family. When her father passed away when Joan was only in her thirties, she was quite shaken by his loss and missed him greatly throughout her life.
Joan took great and tender care of her mother until her death not all that many years ago at nearly 101 years of age. When her children married, Joan worked hard to be a good mother-in-law. She showered her sons and daughters-in-law, and grand-daughters-in-law with love and affection. Spending time with her two great grandsons, Wyatt and Olin Smith, in recent times was one of the great joys of Joan's life.
She loved having her grandchildren stay overnight at her house. She was always happy to have one or two of them crawl in bed with her for an early morning cuddle and cups of coffee brought by her loving husband. Lots of long talks and fun stories were shared during those long cuddles.
Her children and grandchildren are so grateful for the many Sundays with her sauce, pasta and meatballs. She was well known for spoiling loved ones with food.
Joan loved to travel. She and her husband Joe drove cross country several times. She especially loved traveling to New Orleans and San Francisco. After years of the financial challenges of raising 4 children and sending them to private Catholic schools, Joan and Joe really relished their ability to travel and eat in great restaurants. Wisely, Joan had chosen in the early 70s to invest in the stock market, providing her and Joe with a very comfortable and richly deserved retirement. Joan traveled with her sister Marian to Hawaii. She and her sister-in-law Christine DiBacco were more like best friends, with the two traveling to France and Italy together for the trip of a lifetime. Joan and Joe also often traveled to the Outer Banks with their friends the Ronzos and the Cantisanos.
Joan was a lifelong football fan and relished going to Buffalo Bills games from time to time. Watching a game with her at home was filled with lots of shouts of joy or disgust depending on how the Bills were doing. She also loved and followed many other sports with great passion. It was never wise to call her during a golf tournament or tennis match in her later years.
Joan was a devout Catholic, a member of Holy Rosary Church in Rochester and then later St John the Evangelist in Greece, NY. She had great faith. Faith which sustained her throughout her most difficult days, especially in the years following her husband's death.
She was grateful and kind to the people who cared for her at the end of her life, earning their respect and devotion. Joan taught her loved ones so many things by her example. She was organized, reflective, and attentive to detail. She was kind and forgiving. She was fun loving and passionate about her interests. She was brutally honest if she witnessed wrongdoing. She was willing to do just about anything to care for the people she loved. Joan knew the power of gratitude in living a happy life. Her family and friends will miss her more than they can say.