Joan Ann Fenaughty

August 6, 1960September 29, 2020

Joan A. Fenaughty was known by many names. Mrs. Fenaughty, Dr. Fenaughty, just to name a few. No matter how successful she was, her favorite name was Mom.

Joan’s career started almost by accident. She was a patient stay-at-home mom until her youngest child was old enough to go to school. She responded to the school requesting volunteers which turned into discovering her calling. She went back to school, starting tirelessly to provide the opportunity to attend a local community college and ended getting her doctorate degree in exceptional education. Even with her own monumental education achievements, what she appreciated most about her career would always be in the classroom alongside the exceptional students.

She enjoyed reading, sewing, running, collecting knick knacks and artist drawings made by her students that made her farmhouse complete. She very much enjoyed the comfort of her surroundings at home which included her beloved horse, two donkeys, 5 cats, 2 dogs, and the wildlife of many sandhill cranes, deer, and turtles that come to visit for dinner.

Joan passed away after a courageous 21 month battle with brain cancer on September 29, 2020. It would be wrong to say that Joan lost her battle because she never stopped fighting. No matter how sick she was, she was always determined. When anyone else would have broken, Joan stayed strong. Through her, we know what resilience and perseverance truly looks like. There was no quit in Joan.

Joan was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey to Lawrence L. and Lucy H. (Kucharski) Romano.

She is reunited with her father, Lawrence. Survived by her husband of 41 years, Kevin M. Fenaughty. Children, Kelly, Chris, and Patrick. Mother, Lucy Romano and sister, Janet Herbst. Friends, colleagues, teachers, and family too numerous to list, but not forgotten. The family will be planning on an intimate gathering at their home in the near future. Please check back for updated information.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Joan Ann Fenaughty

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Mary Little

October 8, 2020

Joan's love of her family, education, and students with disabilities was a gift to all of us that were fortunate to know her! Her legacy of caring, compassion, and advocacy for students and teachers will live on. With thoughts and prayers for her family at this time.


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