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Joanna May (Cap) Pistone, of Bridgewater, formerly of West Bridgewater, passed away on Sunday, August 27, 2023 after a long illness. She was 62.
She was born to the late Joseph and Carolyn (Chamberlin) Cap on May 7, 1961 in Brockton, MA. She spent her childhood in West Bridgewater in her family home, which was often the main “hub” for any friend or neighbor in need of a hangout spot. As an only child, she enjoyed long cross-country roadtrips with her devoted parents, sight-seeing all of America.
Joanna graduated from West Bridgewater High School, Class of 1979. She was talented in art as well as culinary, and went onto Johnson and Wales to foster that love of food (and discover one of her true pleasures in life, French Onion Soup.) As a true helper in life, she wasn’t satisfied with this, and then went onto nursing school for a period of time. She tried on a variety of jobs throughout her life, but found her calling later on in life in working within libraries in southeastern Massachusetts. She was a skilled cataloger, but also greatly enjoyed her time working the circulation desk and providing book and music recommendations to any patron that would listen.
However, her true passion in life was being a mother. She had dreamed of having children her whole life, and after marrying her husband John Pistone, her wishes came true. Her son Michael and daughter Amy were her pride and joy. She loved bringing her children all over, whether it was weekly trips to local libraries, field trips to aquariums and museums, or simply a “quick” 2 hour shopping trip to a TJ Maxx. Joanna helped with every school project, attended every band concert and dance recital, and gave her expert (cough) sports advice for soccer and hockey games, neither of which she knew anything about. She loved her children more than anything in this life.
That being said, if there was anything in this world that could put up a fair fight against the love of her children, it was her love of animals. Joanna never met an animal in this world she didn’t like, and she would never turn down an animal in need. Her pets included the normal (dogs, especially an Old English Sheepdog known as Chantilly, and a Golden Retriever named Sunny, as well as literally dozens of cats, too many to mention, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention some highlights such as Whiskey, Moochie, Emmitt, and Muffin) to the small (guinea pigs, hamsters, and her most recent loves - bunnies) to the strange and unusual (a raccoon and a flying squirrel).
Joanna had a deep and profound love of music, going to essentially any concert she could get tickets for, including The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ward Hayden and the Outliers, Chuck Berry, Willie Nelson, and of course, Dwight Yoakam, of whom she was his biggest fan. She also greatly enjoyed Frank Zappa, the Dixie Chicks, Janis Joplin, and Jim Croce, among countless others.
When she wasn’t at a concert or spending time with her children, Joanna had many other hobbies. She loved gardening, and had a particular love for lilacs. As a library lover, it is no surprise that she was a voracious reader, mostly of nonfiction, particularly focused on whatever topic was her flavor of the month at the time. She was a big fan of the classic Winnie The Pooh works by A.A. Milne, and fostered that love in her children as well (and designed a well-loved Halloween costume featuring the beloved bear as well, that both of her children wore for multiple years.) She enjoyed going to the Brockton Fair with her whole family, and was always on the lookout for delicious fair food including her favorite, Steak on a Stick. One of her favorite things was to visit restaurants, but she simply couldn’t decide on one thing to order - there were too many good options! As she got older and wiser, she devised the perfect life hack: order dessert first (often Creme Brulee), and bring the leftovers of your entree and appetizers home. If there was an Olympic sport for shopping, Joanna would be the undefeated gold medalist, as she never saw a TJ Maxx, Old Navy, or Kohl’s that she couldn’t master. Her favorite place to travel was Disney World (think of all the shopping!) but she also enjoyed trips with her son in Wisconsin, Chicago, and St. Louis.
Anyone who met Joanna will remember her vividly. She was an exceptionally kind person, to a degree unseen in most. Her extensive shopping talents were utilized for good in cementing her status as the most over-the-top gift giver anyone had ever seen. However, she wasn’t kind to just her family and friends, but to perfect strangers also. If she walked by someone who was crying, she would stop them to make sure they were okay. If she sensed you could benefit from her help in any way, she would funnel all that energy solely into fixing whatever your problem was.
Joanna was a thoughtful, intelligent, intense person. That’s what most people will remember her as - witty, fun, caring, but above all, passionate. If she was in, she was 100% all in. Whether it was buying presents for her beloved grandson Ethan, ordering meals at restaurants, making sure she had just enough (too many) creampuffs at the Big E, or reading everything there ever was about a specific topic, Joanna was going to make sure she gave it her all.
She leaves to mourn her loving family; husband, John, of Bridgewater; son Michael, his wife Erin and her beloved grandson Ethan of Granby, CT; and daughter Amy and her husband Mark Woodward Jr, of Rochester.
Visitation hours are from 4-7 p.m. on September 8th in the O’Neill Funeral Home, 59 Peirce Street (corner of School Street) in Middleboro. Words of remembrance will be delivered at the end by her two children to conclude the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joanna’s memory to MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston at https://www.mspca.org/donate-now/ who provided exemplary care for her rabbits.