Joanne Clair Peckarsky

jojo websiteprogram 001Joanne Clair Peckarsky (Jo) was born in Milwaukee, WI on April 30, 1944 and died in Boston, MA on December 19, 2014 surrounded by her loving family.  She received a degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1966 and immediately moved to Boston where she touched hundreds, if not thousands of people with her legendary generosity and giving spirit.  Her first and most-loved job as a physical therapist was at Boston City Hospital, where she eventually worked in their long-term care facility, Mattapan, where she realized her passion to help elderly people stay in their homes and be independent.  Before she retired she worked at the Boston Visiting Nurses’ Association, and after retirement continued to visit patients with whom she had developed lasting bonds.  She was a staunch supporter of community, especially in her neighborhood of Dorchester Lower Mills where she promoted local business not only by using them herself, but also by spreading the word to others.  Her passion for helping other people was unequalled, manifest by giving of her time and supporting a massive list of local and global charities.

Besides family and friends, her biggest passions were scuba diving and under water photography.  She has taken thousands of spectacular photos, which adorn the walls of many of our homes and have been recognized by awards and displayed in the local dive shops and the New England Aquarium.  She had an uncanny eye for photographic composition, and neutral buoyancy second to none, no matter how large the camera she was toting.  She was happiest in her under water world where she never became complacent about the wonders of ocean critters.  Her joy under water was unparalleled and her sense of humor and adventure were best personified in her practice of scuba diving in a pink evening gown, which is documented in the photo accompanying this tribute.  Late in life she also took up yoga, in which she found a new peace and spirit.  She put the younger Yogi’s to shame with her perfectly aligned unassisted headstand that she first accomplished on her 70th birthday.

She is survived by her devoted friend and companion of 36 years, Elissa Menconi, and her Boston family, Sandra and Edmund Sheehan and their daughters, Katherine (Sheehan) Gentile (Robert Gentile) and Sarah Sheehan; and her Wisconsin family, brother James Peckarsky and sister Bobbi Peckarsky (Steve Horn) and their children, Alison Peckarsky Horn and Bryan Peckarsky Horn (Carrie Horn) and her grand-niece, London Horn.  She will be greatly missed by everyone she touched, but she will forever be on our shoulders, guiding us and loving us as we continue our journeys.  Namaste Jo.

Visiting Hours in the Dolan Funeral Home, 1140 Washington St., DORCHESTER LOWER MILLS, Sun. 2 – 5 pm. Interment Private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jo’ s name may be sent to either Greater Boston Food Bank or the Activities Department of Standish Village, 1190 Adams Street, Dorchester, MA 02124.