Sister Joan Blair died on May 19, 2023 at Saint Joseph Villa in Flourtown, Pennsylvania. The Funeral Mass was offered on May 25 by Father Robert Kilner at Saint Joseph Villa.
Joan, the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Mary Blair, grew up in Baltimore. The family were members of All Saints Parish, and Joan attended the parish grade school and graduated from Seton High School in 1956. Joan was born prematurely and spent the first three months of her life in the hospital before going home. Her parents had intended to name her Martha, but decided that Joan of Arc who struggled for life would be a suitable patron for her. Joan’s father called Joan “Little One” his whole life.
Being the youngest child Joan was somewhat spoiled, and she enjoyed it. She was greatly influenced by her two aunts and her cousin who were Sisters of Saint Joseph. She entered the community after graduating from high school. On the day she received the habit she also received the religious name Sister Mary Theresa.
Joan received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Chestnut Hill College and taught for eighteen years in parish grade schools as well as Delone High School in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania. When Saint Joseph Villa opened Joan recognized there was a need for nurses, and she felt drawn to study nursing at Our Lady of the Angels College in Aston, Pennsylvania. She ministered as a nurse at Saint Joseph Villa for one year and then asked to move closer to Baltimore in order to be a support to her family. She remained there for forty-three years working at Mercy Hospital and Saint Agnes Hospital. She loved serving people as nurse and she was grateful to be living close to her family and to help them when needed. One of her nieces referred to her as “the other Grandmother.”
In reflecting on Joan’s life Sister Owen Patricia alluded to one of the early teachings of Sisters of Saint Joseph: “Live out your life with one desire only: to be always what God wants you to be in nature, grace and glory for time and eternity” . . . “ Joan Blair, a gentle, loving, long suffering Woman of Faith. . . faithful to her God, her family and to all with whom she lived and worked. . . . Joan, God is well-pleased. You fought the good fight, and you ran the race. Now it is your time to receive the crown that God has prepared for you. Thank you for your faithful witness for your whole life. Rest in peace.”