Joan Ann “Magda” Mulhearn (McDermott), 94, of Thomaston, passed away on December 5, 2020, after a long illness. She passed peacefully in her sleep during a brief admission at Cook-Willow Health Center. Joan was preceded in death by her parents, George R. McDermott and Ann Marie Tiedemann, husband Francis X. “Pat” Mulhearn, and sister Patricia F. Mitchell.
Joan is survived by three children: Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer, Francis X. “Frank” Mulhearn, Joan Louise Mulhearn-Neumann, and Joan Louise’s husband, Robert Neumann, whom Joan lovingly referred to as a “second son”; grandchildren Katherine Grace Larsen, Emily Wasley, Mary Jane Neumann-Cayton, and Patrick Neumann; and seven great grandchildren: Claire, Ben, Sam, and Nick Larsen; Dashiell and Milo Wasley; and Theo Cayton.
Joan, born on August 28, 1926, was raised in Jersey City, NJ. Joan and Pat moved their family to Thomaston, CT, in 1971. She enjoyed living in Thomaston and was an active member of the Democratic Town Committee, sang in the Ladies Choral Club, and successfully worked to save the Thomaston Opera House from demolition in the early 1970s.
Joan was noted for her fundraising efforts. Her most memorable fundraiser—converting the Thomaston Opera House into a “walk through” haunted house—was so successful it became an annual affair that drew people from all across Connecticut. Joan also produced, directed, and performed in shows at the Opera House, welcoming anyone who cared to participate. She wrote and produced “The Thomaston Variety Show”. In 1976, Joan and husband Pat worked on several committees to ensure the success of the Thomaston Centennial Celebration. She also worked at Thomaston Middle School. Joan was a communicant of St. Thomas Church.
Joan was an avid reader and enjoyed playing piano. Her sense of humor and love of life, literature, and music lives on in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Joan was also a lover of people and befriended many from all walks of life. Over the years she welcomed into her home musicians, bikers, politicians, lonely souls, friends and family in need, and those who had nowhere to go on a holiday.
There was never a dull moment in the Mulhearn house.
In her late 70s, when asked about life, the secret to happiness and at what age we have the great epiphany and come to understand life’s meaning, Joan replied: “We’re only on this earth for a short time. Enjoy your time, despite what life may throw at you, and choose to be happy.” Joan truly lived that philosophy.
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single one. Joan Mulhearn shared her light and lit many candles.
There will be no service at this time due to Covid-19. Remembrances can be sent to Thomaston Animal Control. The staff at Plainville Funeral Home extends their gratitude to the Mulhearn family for their trust. For online expressions of sympathy or to share a memory with Joan’s family, please visit www.PlainvilleFuneralHome.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan Ann (McDermott) Mulhearn, please visit our floral store.
Thomaston Animal Control
258 Old Waterbury Rd., Thomaston CT 06787