Joanne Riedel of Carolina Shores, North Carolina passed away peacefully on the morning of February 5, 2023 at her son’s home in Concord, Massachusetts. Joanne was an tireless optimist who believed in focusing only on the positive; she sought and found goodness in every person she encountered. Joanne lived all 98 of her years with a fierce sense of independence, an openness for new experiences, a sharp wit, a keen sense of humor and love for her family.
Born in New York City, the daughter of John and Isabelle Kiernan, Joanne excelled academically. She studied at Fordham University and earned her law degree from Fordham Law School becoming one of the first women to graduate in 1947. Following graduation, Joanne joined the law firm of Lord, Day & Lord in downtown Manhattan as an associate specializing in corporate Law. She was very proud to have worked as a lawyer and firmly believed in the value and power of the law.
Joanne maintained a keen interest in law and the legal process throughout her life. Once when she was called for jury duty, the judge excused her from service due to her age (90+ years); she replied, “I object”! Although she often joked about this incident, she was sincerely disappointed that she was not permitted to serve.
After a 3-year courtship, Joanne married Edward Riedel in 1949. The newlyweds settled in Floral Park, NY, where they raised their three sons. Joanne gave up her career as a lawyer to not only raise her own family but to also assist her widowed sister and two young nephews, who lived with Joanne and Ed for over six years. The welcome sign on the town’s border reads: ‘Floral Park, it’s a nice place to live.’ To Joanne, it was the perfect place to live. She became well-known throughout the town, working first at the town pool and later as the Head Reference Librarian at the town’s Library for over 30 years.
In 1995, after years of prodding by her husband Ed, and with the encouragement of many friends who had already relocated from Floral Park, Joanne and Ed moved to Carolina Shores, North Carolina. Joanne and Ed were a dynamic couple who loved to golf, socialize and be with friends. It didn’t take long for them to have a huge circle of friends and a new life. They reveled in their love for golf and travelled to play throughout North and South Carolina, Bermuda and Scotland. One particularly fond memory for Joanne was in 1988 when she competently scored a 103 at the Old Course at Saint Andrews! Joanne’s fondest golfing memories were those with her grandchildren teaching them to play the game she so loved. To Joanne, they all had the potential to be pros. With Edward’s passing in 2005, Joanne remained an active member of the Carolina Shores community and served as a director on the Carolina Shores Public Library Board for several of years. Joanne lived independently in her Carolina Shores home where she could observe the golfers go by until she was 97. In declining health, Joanne came to Massachusetts to be with her family.
Joanne was predeceased by her husband Edward and daughters-in law Leslie and Susan. Joanne is survived by her three sons, Gerard of Concord, MA, Terrance of Hingham, MA and Gregory and his wife Veronica of Shrewsbury, MA. Joanne is also survived by her six grandchildren, Timothy and his wife Kelly, Garen, Andrew, Lauren and her husband John, Jaclyn and Austin and two great-grandchildren, Olivia and Harry. Joanne was always eager to regale both friends and new acquaintances with the exploits and accomplishments of everyone in her family.
In remembrance, we ask everyone to fondly recall a personal experience with Joanne.
To honor Joanne’s memory, the family requests any donations be directed to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.
Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap Street, Concord, MA 01742 978-369-3388 www.concordfuneral.com