In loving memory of Joan Marchese 1933 – 2023
Joan Marchese, a resident of Encinitas for over fifty years whose radiant smile lit up every room she walked into, died on St Patrick’s Day at the age of 89 at the apartment she shared with her husband of 70 years, Frank Marchese.
A native New Yorker, her journey to death was much like her life—filled with family, joy and love. The seven-day bedside vigil to send Joan off included live music, a pizza party, lots of laughs and tears and the endless kibitzing and swapping of stories only New Yorkers can do.
The family matriarch and oldest of 29 cousins, Joan was famous for her family dinners where no one went hungry and all were welcome. Irish to the core, but married to an Italian, Joan dove into creating three course Italian feasts that included her famous antipasti, homemade lasagna and famous Christmas cookies.
The kitchen was her domain and loading the dishwasher was a gold medal event she took very seriously and won every time.
As her children grew and had children of their own, she hosted overnights with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, providing a dinner of homemade meatballs and spaghetti topped off with a big bowl of ice cream and episodes of North Woods Law, a murder mystery or old western.
Joan loved to dance. Put on a tune and she would start moving and singing along.
Even during her final years, she would grab Frank’s hand and they would spring to life and dance a lively Lindy or a jamming Jitterbug. Even after 70 years they loved to dance together and seem to hold each other up as they danced through this life.
Joan was not only a devoted mother, grandmother and wife, she also was a published poet. Through her writing she sought to understand herself and would spend afternoons and evenings creating poems about the people closest to her. Her poetry can be found in Magee Parks Poetry Anthologies, Seacoast Poets Anthology and Changes – An Anthology of Modern Poetry.
Ever creative and talented, Joan was also a master seamstress and fiber artist. She could learn and teach any form of stitching and her house was filled with yarn baskets, crochet needles, embroidery hoops, looms, quilting frames, spools and skeins of yarn. She created clothing combining quilting, needle point and applique, and knit homemade sweaters from wool she spun herself.
Above all, Joan valued family, starting first and foremost with the love of her husband Frank who she knew since she was 17 years old. Their relationship was not without strife, but always had love. As Frank often shared “we would argue all day and cuddle all night.” Joan and Frank created a wonderful legacy and close knit family that is connected and committed to each other every day.
Joan is predated in death by her son Mark, who passed away in 1995. She is survived most immediately by her husband, Frank; her son and his wife Joseph and Amber Marchese; daughter Leane Marchese; sister Claire and cousin Billy; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren Scott and Jesse Marchese and their daughters Sadie and Ryah, Joseph and Amber’s children Nathan Marchese, Chelsea, Todd Tschida and their son Logan Jack,and Leane’s son’s Roman Marchese-Culver and Graycin Marchese-Culver.
Joan will be buried at sea surrounded by her loving family. We will miss her and think of her every day.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in honor of Joan Marchese to Friends of the Encinitas Library www.encinitaslibfriends.org, and please in the “additional info area” note that the donation is on honor of Joan Marchese.