Joan Margaret O’Hara McKenna


Joan Margaret O’Hara McKenna, 83, of Wakefield, formerly of Warwick, died on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at Riverview Healthcare Nursing Home in Coventry. She was the loving wife of the late John Francis McKenna Jr.

Joan was a proud graduate of St. Xavier’s in Providence, R.I. She worked as a Sales Consultant for Wilson’s of Wickford until her retirement in 2010. Joan was distinguished by her compassion, loyalty, contagious smile, chic style, and sense of humor. Joan’s favorite thing to do was to be with her family and friends. Joan was blessed with many dear friends throughout her life. The bond she and her sisters shared was admired by all. The “O’Hara girls” were together through thick and thin and were the foundation of their large extended family. Every holiday they made it a point to make sure we were all together. All the cousins will forever remember the times we all squeezed into living rooms/kitchens and listened to all their hilarious stories they would share about growing up.

Joan was a wonderful friend. Over the years she volunteered on many boards and organizations within the St. Gregory the Great Parish. She enjoyed many years of her daily morning walks with her “muffin club” pals. Joan was a “fashionista”, known for her effortless and sophisticated style. Naturally this led her to a successful career at Wilson’s of Wickford where people from all over R.I. and beyond, relied on her to build their wardrobe or dress them for a special occasion.

Joan’s greatest joy was spending time with her children and grandchildren. She thoroughly enjoyed attending all sporting events for them and was their biggest fan. Joan loved traveling throughout the U.S. and around the world, experiencing and learning different cultures. She also enjoyed the Sunday drives, long walks, and having cups of tea with her best friend Monsignor John Halloran. Joan was quoted many times for saying how truly blessed she was to have such a caring, supportive, and loyal friend.

Joan was very blessed to have found a wonderful and loving home at Riverview Healthcare Community in Coventry, RI the last 3 years. She loved her “3 East” family, as much as they loved her.

Born in Providence, she was a daughter of the late Gilbert J. and Margaret (Kelleher) O’Hara.

Joan was the devoted mother of Kathleen McKenna Grosso, the late John Francis McKenna III, Kara McKenna Biller, and Brian James McKenna, and mother-in-law to Steve Grosso and Cameron Biller. She was the loving sister of Maureen Flynn, Margaret Dugan, and Kathleen Sohar and the fabulous grandmother of her granddaughters, Julie and Emily, and grandsons, Stephen, John, Danny, and Victor John.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11a.m. on Friday, August 14, 2020 at St. Gregory the Great Parish, 360 Cowesett Rd., Warwick. Interment will follow at St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.

Funeral Arrangements are entrusted to the Urquhart-Murphy Funeral Home, 800 Greenwich Ave, Warwick. Due to COVID 19, Health and Safety Regulations will be in effect.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joan’s name to the Dementia Society of America (DSA) at or by mail at: Dementia Society of America PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901.


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