Joanne O'Leary

Obituary of Joanne O'Leary

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Nassau – Joanne O’Leary passed away peacefully on December 3, 2019 at her home surrounded by her adoring family after a long and courageous battle with cancer.  

She and husband Michael starting cutting down trees in January 1980, and together they built a beautiful home in rural Rensselaer County. Generous and loyal, she could always be counted on for unwavering support and compassion, perceptive advice—and, of course, an amazing meal. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, the Great Saint's corned beef feast for the O'Leary's and Dwyers, backyard cookouts with tents and music, and especially Sunday meals with her children and grandchildren made Joanne's heart beat strong. She loved to feed us.

She was the center of gravity for her family, coordinating countless gatherings where she made everyone feel welcome in her home.  She was thoughtful and observant, the world’s best gift giver. She (“Gigi”) absolutely lived for her grandchildren.  She never came to visit them empty-handed: there was always a small surprise. 

Born in Syracuse, New York to Edith and Anthony Geiss, Joanne completed her Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and worked for many years as a dedicated, hard-working and compassionate guidance counselor in East Greenbush, New York. She loved her middle schoolers.


She is survived by her husband Michael of Nassau; three children: Scott and his wife Lisa of Valatie, Michael and his wife Sarah of Voorheesville, and James of Cleveland, OH, as well as her grandchildren Wesley, Angelina, Lucas, Katherine and Quinn. In addition to her children and grandchildren, Joanne is survived by her sister Constance Fenton, nieces Kim Ives Nicholson, Jennifer and Robin O'Leary, and nephews Christopher, Jonathan, and Sean O'Leary, and their wonderful families. They are living examples of her love.

The family will receive friends at the Mooney Funeral Home at 11 Elm Street in Nassau on Friday December 6 from 4PM – 8PM, a Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Nassau on Saturday December, 7 at 11AM with a memorial reception to follow at Chez Mike at 596 Columbia Turnpike in East Greenbush.


In lieu of flowers and out of Joanne's joy of feeding others, please consider making a donation to the Nassau Resource Center Food Bank, PO Box 495 Nassau, NY 12123.



4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, December 6, 2019
Thomas P. Mooney Funeral Home LLC
11 Elm St.
Nassau, New York, United States
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Joanne O'Leary

In Loving Memory

Joanne O'Leary

1949 - 2019

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