Joan Dunlavey of North Chelmsford
The world has lost a true angel. R. Joan Dunlavey was called away suddenly and much too soon on Saturday, September 17, 2016 after a brief illness. Joan was surrounded by her loving family as she joined her parents, sister and many relatives in heaven. She was a life-long resident of North Chelmsford, MA.
Joan Dunlavey led a rich and fulfilling life, but most of all, she will be remembered for her selfless giving to others. As a sister, daughter, aunt, friend and educator, Joan was always the first to give her support in every way. More importantly, she was a loving daughter who was the primary caregiver to both her mother and father during their final years of life. Time and time again, Joan was the person that so many people counted upon to help in their time of need. She gave willingly and happily to the many people in her life, and she touched others in the most remarkable way. Her sisters, brother, nieces and nephews cherished her, and all the wonderful times they shared together.
Born in Lowell, Joan was the daughter of the late Francis J. and Rita T.(Murphy) Dunlavey. She graduated from Chelmsford High School and Merrimack College with honors. Joan, a true scholar, continued her education throughout her career, earning her Masters of Education at Simmons College, and another Masters at UMASS Lowell.
Joan taught in the Lowell Public Schools where she was adored by staff and students alike. She loved to teach and her insatiable curiosity, generous spirit and love of reading made her the perfect role model for the children that entered her classroom. She served as teacher, acting principle, IT specialist and more, always doing whatever she could to better the education of the students.
Her love of family and friends was paramount, and she lived life to the fullest. Joan was known for telling great stories coupled with her sweet laughter and smile, and enjoyed spending time playing trivia games and engaging in spirited debates. She was an amazing “Aunt” and played Secret Santa by dropping off countless gifts to different houses late every Christmas Eve. Joan was also a world traveler, known for jaunts to Europe, trips to see plays in New York City and visits to family in California.
She is survived by her sisters, Mary Mitchell-Dunlavey and her partner Ralph Simpson of Bedford, MA; Carol D. Aquiar of Tyngsboro, MA; Gail F. and her husband Charles “Chuck” Hirbour of Dracut, MA; brother, Francis J.A. and his wife Marti (Callahan) Dunlavey of Weare, NH; her brother in-law, Jack Scaplen of North Chelmsford, MA; fourteen nieces and nephews, John, David, and Stephen Scaplen, Jeff, Adam and Chaz Hirbour, Jen Aguiar, Sam Dec, Melissa, Lyn and Alec Aguiar, Ryan, Craig, and Cian Dunlavey; and seventeen great nieces and nephews and many cousins and friends. She was the sister of the late Patricia Scaplen of North Chelmsford, who predeceased her in 2013. The loss of this sweet, kind woman will leave a void in the lives of her friends and family forever.
Visiting hours will be on Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM at the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 106 MIDDLESEX ST. NORTH CHELMSFORD, MA. The funeral Mass will be at 11:00 AM at the Immaculate Conception Church 218 East Merrimack St. Lowell, MA. The burial will be private. Donations honoring Joan’s memory may be made to the Joan Dunlavey Scholarship Fund, c/o Lowell High School, Attention: Bursar, 50 Father Morissette Boulevard, Lowell, MA 01852. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041. Guestbook at www.dolanfuneralhome.com