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Joan Renfer Kelly

Joan Renfer Kelly, 89, of Suscon, passed away peacefully at the home of her caregivers, her granddaughter Jamie Ianniccari and husband Mark, in Shavertown. She was born in Suscon, March 20, 1933 and was the daughter of the late Walter and Josephine Antal Renfer.

Joan was a member of Queen of The Apostles Parish Church, Avoca. She was a graduate of St. John the Evangelist High School, Pittston as well as Lackawanna County Jr. College School of Business, with an associate degree in business. She worked for many years as an executive secretary in the local garment industry, and she retired from Magic Years Learning Center, Pittston as an infant childcare aide.


Family was the heart of Joan's life. She will be remembered for her tremendous capacity to gather those she loved together for Sunday dinners and celebrations--all in the name of fostering deep connections. She was an extraordinary caregiver to children and known for having a gift with infants and toddlers. Joan was an excellent decorator and gardener and enjoyed creating beautiful spaces for those she loved. Joan was "all heart"; a truly remarkable woman who will be deeply missed.


In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, James F. Kelly, who died November 8th, 2008 and her sister Shirley Kolankiewicz.


She is survived by her children Sharon and husband Thomas LaBella, Long Island NY, Debbie and husband Jerry Guarneri, Suscon, Joan and husband

Ralph Melucci, Suscon, Susan Butch of Shavertown, James and wife Mary Claire Kelly, Suscon, Robert and wife Laurie Kelly, Suscon, and Thomas and wife Candice Kelly, Suscon. Also surviving are 19 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, her sister Carol Zarzecki, of Suscon and many nieces and nephews.


A mass of Christian burial will be held on Monday, September 26 at 11:00am at Queen of The Apostles Parish Church, 715 Hawthorne St., Avoca, with Fr. Phillip Sladicka officiating. Friends may call on Monday morning at the church from 10am until time of mass. Interment will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Avoca.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Chip Animal Refuge, 974 Lockville Rd., Dallas, PA 18612.


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