Swan Funeral Home

825 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT


Joan Hill

October 15, 1951February 11, 2020

Joan D. Hill, 68, of Madison, Connecticut, died February 11, 2020, surrounded by her family.

She was born October 15, 1951 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the second daughter of the late Stuart and Maureen Dery of Hamden, Connecticut.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern Connecticut State College in 1972, and a Masters Degree in Guidance from Southern Connecticut State University in 1983.

She worked as an English teacher at Sheehan High School in Wallingford for eleven years, followed by twenty-seven years at Haddam-Killingworth Middle School in Higganum as a guidance counselor, retiring in 2011. She was a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, following her recovery from a cardiac event in 2000.

She is survived by her husband Chris whom she married in 1974; by her son Gregory and her daughter-in-law Kristina and their daughters Louisa, Georgia and Beatrice, of West Hartford; by her son Eric and her daughter-in-law Melissa and their daughters Avery and Harper, of Madison; and by her sister Pamela Ponce de Leon, of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her avocations included participation in a reading club and a bocce club, but her preeminent skill was cooking elaborate, creative and delicious meals, whether hosting large parties in her home or a weeknight dinner with her husband.

She was a dedicated and loving grandmother to her grandchildren, who adored her and whom she loved beyond measure. Sweet, generous and understated, she was simply loved by all who knew her.

Visiting hours are scheduled for 9:00-10:30 a.m., Friday, February 14 at Swan Funeral Home, 825 Boston Post Rd. in Madison, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at St. Margaret Church at 24 Academy St. in Madison. In lieu of flowers, Joan requested donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital (stjude.org).


  • Visitation Friday, February 14, 2020
  • Funeral Mass Friday, February 14, 2020


Joan Hill

have a memory or condolence to add?

Donna Mcmahon

February 16, 2020

Memories..the “boys “ soccer games/tournaments (Nashua, NH) and the “men’s “ softball games. The over 25 years of Christmas parties and the special gifts you gave us...always engraved or monogrammed with a special sentiment. This year (2019) was the absolute best..a silver snow globe that plays Auld Lang Syne, the engraved plate says “thank you for many years of sharing Christmas with friends”. Thank you Joan for many years of a special friendship. Much love, Donna & Tommy McMahon

Cindy Esposito-Czeciuk

February 14, 2020

Chris, I am sorry to hear about Joan's passing. I remember you and Joan when you lived above us, at 168 West Main Street in Clinton in the 1970's.

Joan Pashley-Baynes

February 14, 2020

I have had a very heavy heart since my sister, Mary, called me to tell me that Joan had passed. We cried together and shared wonderful memories but mostly we spoke of a woman's spirit that touched so many like no other. She was one in a million, a true blessing to all she met because she cared, she was compassionate and kind and loving and yet strong through trials that would have broken many.

She loved her wonderful husband, her sons, her daughters-in-law, her grandkids and all her family. She had ' many kids' that weren't hers by birth but certainly were in heart. Clearly it was her calling to help others grow, develop, mature and succeed...and they did because Joan touched their lives. To know her, was to love her...and she made it easy to love her!

A beautiful woman that I am so thankful to have known and to share my life with. I am so thankful, too, for the unique friendship she shared with my twin, Mary. I saw that relationship grow over the years and it was uniquely special, just like Joan, or as we first called her in 1977, Mrs. Hill.

May you rest in peace, may you soar with the angels, and may the Peace of our Lord comfort our hearts until we are once again reunited.

God's Blessings ~

Joan and Kyle Pashley-Baynes

Debbie DeMaio

February 14, 2020

Joan was my school counseling intern supervisor. She taught me so much with her kind and gentle nature... and 21 years later I still use a spiral bound note notebook to log activities.... something I leaned from her. Sending prayers to her family and all people who will miss her. She was a very special person.

Connie Bombaci

February 14, 2020

My dear Joan, I was compelled to write you because I believe that you are still here with us. You loved everyone in your life with an amazing heart of true acceptance. Remembering our days together at HK, seeing you coming up the ramp always brought a warm smile of true friendship. You had time to share and faithfully added help to the day of anyone in need. You put other's first and unreservedly offered genuine kindness that made immeasurable differences. You shall be a forever blessing and I thank you for your incredible, gentle self. God greets you, and prayers are lifted up for your beautiful family until you see one another again.

Alice Cugell

February 14, 2020

We had lots of fun times during soccer years at games and tournaments with our sons...one of which was Joan and Chris driving the soccer boys in the "Hill-mobile"...Ed and Alice

Tyler Wells

February 13, 2020

Joan, or Mrs. Hill as I knew her, was one of the most loving, caring, and genuine teaching professionals I have ever met. As my middle school guidance counselor, she was an absolute beacon of positivity 24/7. I cannot picture her without a smile...Eric, Greg, and Chris, I am so grateful for those years Joan was in my life. She was truly the centerpiece of an incredible family and she will he missed dearly. You were so lucky to call her yours!

Melissa Ellery

February 13, 2020

I had the great pleasure of working with Joan when I was a new school nurse at the middle school. She was one strong woman and I was in awe of her coming to work after her treatments.
She loved her students and wanted them to be the best they could be.
I'm so sorry for your loss.
Melissa Ellery

Donna DuBaldo

February 13, 2020

I was blessed to meet Joan through our Book Club. As a newcomer to town and retirement a decade ago, Joan welcomed me though many quiet conversations. I was struck time and again by her compassion, sincerity, and gentle spirit. I hope the devastation you must now feel eventually gives way to joy and pride for having had Joan as your wife and mother. Joan had a life well lived and her legacy will surely live on in you, and her beloved granddaughters.

Raymond Willis

February 13, 2020

I had the pleasure of working with Joan for many years. She was a truly dedicated and skillful guidance counselor and a dignified woman. She did so much for Regional School District 17, and in a quiet manner, never attempting to garnish any laurels for herself.
My sentiments and condolences go out to her husband, Chris, and to her sons and their families. Joan will be missed by many.