Joan Clare Mecke (nee Donley), 90, died on Feb. 28, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 28, 1930, she was a graduate of the local Academy of Notre Dame and attended Immaculata College. She and her late husband, Peter, married in 1953 and settled in the Clearwater, Florida area in 1956 after his discharge from the U.S. Air Force. As a widow in 1998, she relocated to Oak Park for 20 years, living with family and later in two local senior communities, where she had many warm and kind neighbors. She was a sunny, optimistic person who especially enjoyed Linden Avenue block parties, Mass at St. Giles, St. Patrick’s Day, her grandchildren’s church and school events, and graduations at Mann, Julian and OPRF High School, lunch at Al’s Grill, musical performances at Dominican University, watching trick-or-treaters (and dressing up herself), theater outings and family holidays.
Trained as a singer and pianist, she had a golden coloratura soprano voice, a wonderful sense of humor and an ever-present smile. In her final years, she returned happily to the Florida sunshine she so loved.
Her husband, Peter, preceded her in death, as did her parents, James and Mary Boyle, her sister, Gloria Gavigan, and an infant daughter. Joan is survived by her daughter Michele Donley (John); three grandchildren, Cara Donley (fiancé Vishnu Menon), Jennifer Convey (Tim), and Brendan Donley; and her great-grandsons Rowan and Leland Convey.
As a survivor of a 1932 polio epidemic and forever grateful for medical care that allowed her to walk, Joan would be pleased for gifts in her memory to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Funeral Mass and burial took place in Largo, Florida, on March 6.