In Memory

Joan Clarke (Stack)

Joan Clarke (Stack)

Barbara Carey: I wanted everyone to know that Joan Clark Stack passed away on Monday May 11th. She was having health issues and they were complicated by the corona virus. 

From her obituary:

Joan [, a great nurse,] was revered for her dedication, compassion and caring for her patients. Joan will be greatly missed in the medical world and always strived to emulate her hero Florence Nightingale.


Obituary of Joan Stack

Joan stack 73, of Burlington Mass, died Monday May 11, 2020 at the Lahey Medical Center in Burlington. Joan was a resident of Burlington for twenty- seven years and passed away from complications of Covid 19.

She was born in Boston and raised in Arlington by the late Roy and Hazel Clarke. Joan was the daughter of her deceased beloved mother Helen Connolly of Rockaway Beach, New York.  Joan was a graduate of Arlington high school.

Joan went on to graduate magnum cum laude from Fitchburg state College with a degree in Nursing (RN) She also obtained a masters in nursing from North Eastern University, magnum cum laude. Joan was a brilliant nurse with a long and prestigious career committed to education and the nursing profession.  She was employed at Boston hospital, Union hospital in Lynn and the Massachusetts General hospital in Boston. Joan was revered for her dedication, compassion and caring for her patients. Joan will be greatly missed in the medical world and always strived to emulate her hero Florence Nightingale.   She belonged to the American Heart Association and the Mass nursing association. She was a devoted parishioner of St Malachi’s parish for twenty- five years and a committed member of their faith sharing group. Joan was also a volunteer Medical Reserve Corps nurse for several years. She was trained and committed to any responders in an emergency.

Joan is survived by her brothers Billy and Jimmy Connolly, sister Dianne Lynch, brothers in law Paul Strotman and Dennis Lynch, sister-in-law Deirdre Connolly, and nephew Chris Connolly. She was preceded in death by her brother Christopher Connolly and sister Adrienne Connolly.  Joan will be missed by several longtime friends who loved her wonderful sense of humor and steely resolve.  In lieu of flowers, due to current restrictions, the family suggests a donation be made in her name to the American Heart Association P.O. Box 417005, Boston MA-02241-7005. S

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05/16/20 03:24 PM #1    

Ronald S. (Ron) Carter

OMG, this is truly sad news. Joan was a kind, caring person who helped others, R I P Angel,

Please everyone, take car of yourselves, try to eat heathy and get exercise. Right now our best defense is our own immune system and avoiding others. Let's hopemitigating drugs are available soon and eventually vacines, before we die from a collapsted economy.



Ron Carter

05/16/20 04:30 PM #2    

Walter R. Smith

We are so sad today to hear that Joan has passed...  I didn't know her at AHS and met her for the first time as a co-member of the 50th Reunion Committee.  During those months of planning we became friends, and she and Robbie ignited a new friendship over the reunion weekend.  We shared our experience of meeting on and encouraged Joan to give it a try, but alas, it didn't work out for her. 

In 2015, just before the holidays, we visited Joan at home and found her in a lonely, disheveled state.  I was working at Mahoney's Christmas Shoppe at the time, and decided to use my employee discount to bring Christmas to Joan's house.  We called ahead using some forgotten pretext and delivered a pre-lit 30" Christmas tree with a few boxes of miniature ornaments.  As she and Robbie chatted, I set up and decorated the tree on a table in her front window.  When we left her, there was a cheerful warm glow in her living room, and on our faces in the car.  It just felt so good to make Joan smile... Time passed and we didn't see Joan after that but stayed in touch on social media "Liking" and commenting on each other's postings and avoiding mention of our divergent political views.

Last Sunday, Robbie took a bad fall down the stairs, fractured some ribs and her left clavicle, suffered bruises on her elbow and wrist, and was Medevacked to Lahey Hospital, where she tested positive for COVID.  It's ironic that she was likely in the same ward where Joan passed on Monday.

How do you acknowledge and celebrate somebody's life in today's world, with the quarantine, social distancing, and all the attendant insanity?  We can't even hug each other.  In fact, the Arlington Board of Health is calling almost daily to make sure I'm behaving myself and staying home because I presumably hugged Robbie!!

Tonight, I'm going to remove my mask, light a candle, open a bottle of robust Sonoma County Zinfandel, pull Joan's picture up on my screen, and raise a toast in thanks for her selfless dedication to serving and comforting humanity.  Then, as I shed another tear for a lost classmate, I will sadly delete Joan from my email and Facebook accounts... and snuff the candle.

05/18/20 11:41 AM #3    

Doris A. Duggan

I remember Joan as a quiet and friendly person in high school.  We were together in Latin Club and Allied Youth.   She was so sweet and I just reread her comments to me in my yearbook.  Such kind and encouraging words from her.  She is in my prayers.


Dodie Duggan






05/19/20 10:47 AM #4    

Anne P. Craven (Kipp)

Joan was in my geometry class, and often we would call each other and work through the proofs we had for homework.  She was always so good natured and conscientious.  I really enjoyed our friendship.--Anne Craven Kipp

05/19/20 04:48 PM #5    

Jane M. McCall (Barry)

Joan was in a number of my classes over the years at AHS.  She was always so conscientious and as Doris mentioned, quiet....but she was smart! I am not surprised that she graduated 'magna' and was a revered nurse. I enjoyed working with her on the 45th and 50th reunions.  She was always enthusiastic about our class and happy to be contributing.  

I had heard from some classmates that she was having trouble these last few years.  I regret not reaching out to her.   She was a worthy soul.  Rest in peace, Joan.

05/21/20 05:40 PM #6    

John Troike



Never knew Joan but she sounded like a marvelous person and a wonderful humanitarian.


Back then, AHS Class of 1964 had a lot of CLASS!!!!


We are getting smaller by the years, so enjoy those memories while we can.

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