Joanna Joyce Abbruzzese

Born October 23, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan the daughter of the late Emmett and Mary Alice Wilson passed away Friday, July 24, 2020 at age 90.

She is survived by three children, John (Terry) Abbruzzese, Mary Jo (Edwin) Jenks, and Ann Marie Abbruzzese; five grandchildren, Tony (Sara) Abburzzese, Teresa (Bret) Rapp, Nicholas (Elizabeth) Abbruzzese, Danny (Brandi) Crampton, and Renee (Greg) Cook; ten great-grandchildren, Joshua, Andrew, Nathan, and Cayden Abbruzzese, Maxx and Marlee Rapp, Zoe Abbruzzese, Taylor (Caleb) Denison, Kristofer Crim, and Madison Crampton; three great-great-grandchildren, Camden Denison, Jolee Denison, and Skyler Crim; brother, Ralph (Rose) Wilson; sister, Beverly Baker along with many nieces, nephews and other extended family members.

Joanna was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Abbruzzese.

She was a graduate of Lansing Sexton High School and retired from the State of Michigan as a payroll clerk following 40+ years of service.  Joanna loved playing Bingo, reading, and was active with the Capital Area Down Syndrome Association.  She was the kind of person anyone would welcome as a friend.  Joanna rarely spoke a bad word of anyone and had a special softness for those with little.

As the mother of a Down Syndrome child her life changed when Annie was born.  Her selfless journey began devoting all to the loving care of her special child, lasting nearly 60 years. Before Annie was born, she enjoyed playing golf with the State League she participated with.  Her enjoyment of family was remarkable and she cared for her Mother daily until she passed away.  There were many happy years collecting antique glass and setting up to sell which became her hobby.  We could not pass an antique store without stopping to see if she could find a treasure.  While continuing her quest for finding glass, she enjoyed playing Bingo and visiting a Casino or two for fun.  She had a heart of Gold and was always willing to be a listening ear, offering help when she could.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at Deepdale Memorial Gardens, Lansing.

Those who wish may make memorial contributions, in Joanna’s memory, to the Capital Area Humane Society, Eaton Community Palliative Care or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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7 Messages to “Joanna Joyce Abbruzzese

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Joan Bailey
July 25, 2020 at 11:55 pm

Jo was a work friend of mine. She was a wonderful gal and I enjoyed her personality and wit over the years. Time, retirement and the closing of area bingos caused us to lose touch. Ann I miss seeing you also. You may not recognize me by name Ann, but I am the lady who used to bring you a Pay Day candy bar when we were playing bingo at Holy Cross. I am keeping the entire family in my thoughts and prayers.

G. Thompson
July 26, 2020 at 9:02 pm

I did not know Joanna, but after reading her obituary about how she lived and how giving she was, I think it would have been great to have had her as a friend. She is a great example to be like. We need more of her in this world. Rest in peace beautiful lady.

michael hanlon
July 27, 2020 at 7:58 am

John, Sorry to here of your mom passing. I remember her from working with Frank from the Dan O’Shaughnessey days, Hope all is well with you and the rest of the family.She is in our prayers.

John Abbruzzese
July 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Thanks Mike. The O’Shaughnessey days were a great time. Hope you are doing well in these crazy times.


Suzanne Moore
July 27, 2020 at 10:56 am

May your cherished memories of this great lady bring you comfort and may knowing that she is in God’s loving embrace give you peace.

Mary Jo Jenks
July 27, 2020 at 8:47 pm

Thank you for the kind words. Joanna is my mother and she was also my best friend. I could go to her with anything, she never judged and would comfort me regardless.

It was very touching to read your words. Thank you. Blessings. Mary Jo

Jamie ( Bancroft) Hixson
August 9, 2020 at 4:04 pm

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of this fine lady. She and my mom shared a special bond both having special chilldren they loved dearly. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this time of loss.


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