Joanna Del Prete, 81, of West Simsbury, beloved wife of Hugo Del Prete and mother of Anna Grbic, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, February 26, 2021 at St. Francis Hospital. She was born January 11, 1940 in East New York, NY to parents Joseph and Alexandria Olivero. Joan, as she was known to those close to her, fought tooth-and-nail throughout most of her life, constantly battling the extreme difficulties of a severe epilepsy diagnosis in her early adulthood. Though difficult to acclimate to epilepsy at such a stage in life, Joan always strived and managed to maintain normalcy.
Being popular amongst friends and family, Joan was known for entertaining guests on any day of the week at her family home in Ozone Park, NY. Amongst her social circle, her authentic Italian-American cooking creations were sought after by all; anybody who tasted her fried eggplant or homemade meatballs would agree it was a life-changing experience. Friends would often drop by unannounced and she would always be ready with a fresh pot of coffee and a cake to warm their welcome.
Joan constantly occupied herself with various hobbies. She was a lover of all sorts of games; whether it was playing cards with her friends, shouting the answers while watching game shows with her family, or challenging herself with various puzzle games solitarily. Her grandchildren fondly recall tagging along with her to the local senior citizen center and watching her run the card tables with efficacy. She also had an immense love for music and movies. She often could be heard singing or humming to herself the tunes of Dean Martin and her eternal celebrity crush, Elvis Presley. Her vast knowledge and consumption of movies, especially gangster flicks, psychological thrillers and Western films, is likely unrivaled by any other.
Happy to be found strolling down memory lane, Joan was keen on recounting her family history, and regaled in passing along the stories to her daughter and grandchildren. Whenever somebody in the family couldn’t recognize a face in a family photograph, Joan was quick to identify with a name and every detail imaginable.
In addition to her loving husband of 63 years and only daughter, she is survived by her son-in-law, Richard Grbic, her grandchild Richie, his wife Olga, her grandchild Jason, his wife Brittany, her grandchild Daniel, his girlfriend Leigh Anne, and her four great-grandchildren, Grant, Brooks, Parker and Leighton.
The family is grateful to all caretakers who have helped enrich her life.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5th, 2021 at St. Catherine’s of Siena located at 265 Stratton Brook Rd, West Simsbury, CT. In lieu of flowers, her family asks for donations to the The Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York or The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut. The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Joan's "Book of Memories" at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.