Joanne McCarthy

Obituary of Joanne H. McCarthy

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East Greenbush- Joanne succumbed to Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia on May 6, 2023 at the age of 71. Joanne was a strong, intelligent, warm and friendly woman. The life she led was filled with love and excitement, living her life fully and with a passion for family and friends. Joanne had a phenomenal life journey.


She was the surviving twin (brother Joseph died at birth), prematurely born to Ralph W. Harbeck Jr and Jeanne F. Reedy Harbeck (Palladino). Following the early death of her father in 1959, She was raised by a single mom along with her seven siblings; Barbara (Walt Lischak), Richard (Dorothy), Bette Lacivita (John), James (deceased in 1987), Mary K DeJulio (Ron Babbitt), Daniel (deceased 2021) and Elaine Nardacci (Fred). She was preceded in death recently by her step father David Palladino.


Joanne graduated from Mercy High School in Albany NY and began a ten-year career with the NYS Department of Education. She married William M. McCarthy in 1971 and they began a life together that would take them all over the world. Joanne and Bill were together for over 56 years and married for 51. She began her professional career as a stenographer and retired as a Senior Clerk in Professional Licensing in 1979 to raise her three children; Meghan Abraham (Keith), Erinn and Colin (Mary), following the loss of her first-born daughter at child birth in 1975.Through all the highs and lows that life took Joanne, she always had a smile for everyone and a sense of adventure to tackle the next challenge.


She played a pivotal role in supporting her husband in his professional career. This included packing up the family and moving to the Netherlands twice for a total of seven years of life in Europe. She adapted well, creating new lifelong friends and even learning some Dutch along the way. She was an instrumental part of her children’s lives. Providing guidance, comfort and love to assure their well-being. Joanne cherished and nurtured her children and grandchildren, Madeline and Kaiden. Joanne was extremely capable in all aspects of social interactions. She made the rest of us better people and benefited others along the way.


Joanne was a talented artist and excelled at tole and ceramic paintings. She hand painted many pieces for the family and friends over the years. She was most proud of the ceramic favors she created for her children’s wedding receptions. Joanne also found joy in quilting, making several quilts for many family members. Joanne was always active in lifetime sports. She took up golf later in life and it became her favorite sport, followed closely by bowling, which she restarted later in life as well. She was a continuous member of fitness programs and clubs. Starting as an instructor in her early years and staying active at several clubs with her “Club East and Y” friends. It was readily apparent that she did most of these activities for the social contacts and friendship she made.


Joanne enjoyed dancing and found great joy in joining her grandchildren when any music played. She loved the water, beginning with her children in the back yard pools and eventually at Babcock Lake. One of her favorite places was sitting with her dog Beau on the lakeside and waiting for her children to return from the beach and their swim lessons, cup of tea in one hand and binoculars in the other.


She had the ability to make all of our lives better. She was kind, social, nurturing and a beautiful person in so many ways. She ended life as she began, under duress and fighting for survival each day. In between was a outstanding life that made all of our lives more rewarding. 


In compliance with her wishes she will be cremated and the family will announce a celebration of her life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that a gift be made in her name to the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County, The Parkinson’s Foundation or Dementia Society of America.

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home, Inc.
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Joanne McCarthy

In Loving Memory

Joanne McCarthy

1951 - 2023

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