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Joan (Sikora) Graceffo, age 91, passed away on November 15, 2023, after a brief illness. A native of Auburn, she moved to Flower Mound, TX in 2017 to live with her daughter Ann Marie, devoted son-in-law Patrick, and dear grandson, Joseph.
A 1950 honors graduate of Auburn’s East High School, Joan pursued further education at Auburn School of Nursing. She was especially proud of completing her nursing internship in New York City. Upon graduating, she poured her efforts into a long and fulfilling nursing career, providing compassionate care to residents, students, and friends, via employment at Auburn Memorial Hospital, Auburn Enlarged City School District and Cayuga Community College. She reluctantly retired from there at age 80! She absolutely cherished her time with her nursing friends and had a special relationship with her managers at the College, Barb Rheor and Sue Wilson. One of her most favorite events was every Halloween, when the nursery school class would parade, costumed, to the Nursing Office, and sing, “Happy Birthday, Nurse Joan!”
Joan generously shared her many talents, particularly when it came to baking, cake-decorating, floral arranging, home decorating and crafting of any type. She was admired for her themed Christmas tree decorations. She was especially devoted to very actively raising her three children, always making herself available to volunteer, whether it was for room-mother duty, Scout Leader, even band-trip chaperone. She welcomed and watched over her children’s friends too, with many of them considering her a second mother. She participated in a multitude of events associated with the Sacred Heart Society of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, where she was a devoted communicant after her marriage to the love of her life, Joe. She relied on her strong faith and devotion to carry her through the trials of life and was known to have her Rosary beads nearby at all times.
Joan enjoyed travel to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, Plattsburg, New Jersey, Hawaii and multiple trips to Texas. Nothing delighted her more than spending time with family, whether it was playing cards, visiting over a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, or taking a trip to the local nursery or craft store with her brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Josephine. She was an avid supporter of the arts, regularly attending the Merry-Go-Round Theatre, the Syracuse Symphony, and many other concerts and performances, especially during the summer months, with family and friends.
Her selfless devotion to family often included providing regular and “on-call” extra care, particularly for her aunt, Wanda Momot, nephew, Joe Graceffo, and sisters-in-law Nora, Fran and Sue as they suffered illnesses in their later years. She was the first to visit anyone homebound, and the last to leave, making sure everything was left cleaned up and her “patient” comfortable and safe.
After moving to Texas, Joan kept in regular phone contact with special people in Auburn, especially, her nephew Peter and friends Jo Anne Charles, Ann Landers, Gloria Alano and Carolyn Guariglia. They will never know how much she appreciated their virtual visits and warm kindness!
Joan was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Joseph Graceffo; parents, Frank and Florence Sikora; brothers and their wives, Francis (Betty), Leonard (Ann), Robert (Joyce) and Peter (Josephine) Sikora Sr., brother-in-law, Dr. Frank (Billie) Graceffo; sisters-in-law, Nora, Fran and Sue Graceffo. Best friends greeting her in Heaven include Lilliana (Contiguglia) King, Mary Grudzien and Norma Guariglia.
She is survived by her grateful family: daughter Ann Marie (Patrick) Martin of Flower Mound TX; sons John (Sarah) of Columbus, OH and Joe (Jennifer) Graceffo of McDonald, PA; beloved grandchildren Joseph (Madhulika) Martin, Wesley, Cameron, Mia, Nico and Annalise Graceffo; close nephews, Jim, Jeffrey, and Peter Sikora Jr., Michael and Tony Graceffo; special nieces Elaine Graceffo and Francine (Graceffo) May; cousins David (Elaine) and Art Momot; numerous great cousins, nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, December 1st from 4-6pm at Pettigrass Funeral home, 196 Genesee St. Auburn NY. The funeral mass will be conducted at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 299 Clark St., Auburn, at 10 am Saturday, December 2nd. Burial will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, 6020 Lake Avenue, Auburn. If you would like to honor Joan with a contribution in her memory, you may contact St. Alphonsus Food Pantry, The Matthew House, or the Cayuga County Community College Foundation.