Half Staff – Joan A. Locke

September 16, 2018
Rockport, MA – Please join us in celebrating the life of Joan Arline (Vear) Locke, who passed away on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Daughter of John S. and Bertha M. Vear, she grew up in Millville, Mass., and graduated from St. Mary’s High School, class of 1954. While completing her nursing degree at St Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, class of 1958, she met her husband-to-be, Edward V. Locke, who was also in Worcester attending Holy Cross. They were married in October of 1959. The couple settled in North Andover, Mass., where Joan raised five children, Edward, David, Stephen, Jenifer and Benjamin. She and her husband balanced time with the children (camping, scouting, holiday trips) with time to themselves on their annual vacations to Bonaire, Curacao, and other far-flung vacation spots. The family moved to Rockport, Mass., in the summer of 1971, as both Joan and Edward shared a love of the ocean. As the children grew older and more independent, Joan went back to school, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree from Merrimack College and Master of Social Work from Boston University. She had a successful career in social work, particularly at Beverly Hospital as Director of Outreach Services, and in some of the most challenging communities in the North Shore. She continued her life of service after retirement, volunteering for many community organizations both in Rockport, and in their winter home of Punta Gorda, Florida. Like her mother, she was also a consummate tailor and knitter, making countless Halloween costumes for grandchildren, along with quilts, hats, and sweaters for all family members. She also enjoyed painting, bringing her easel on sailing and camping trips. She will be remembered forever by her husband Edward; her five children; nine grandchildren (Emma, Edward, Alex, Jessica, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Brendan, Lena, and Ariana); along with dozens of cousins, nieces, nephews, co-workers, and friends.
Visiting hours will be held in the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester, on Friday, September 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, September 22, 2018, in St. Joachim’s Church, Broadway, Rockport, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend. The burial will be a private ceremony. Donations may be made in her memory to: The Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter (Research Restricted), and Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty Street, Danvers, MA 01923, along with flowers that will be warmly accepted. Online condolences may be given at www.greelyfuneralhome.com