Obituary of Joan Dorothy Costa
Joan was the third child of eight born to Marcel and Dorothy Loiselle. For many years Joan was the only girl in the family with her younger sister Mary coming along almost 20 years later. She is survived by six of her siblings and their significant others: James and Beth Loiselle of Nicholasville, Kentucky; Armand and Julia Loiselle of Greenville, Michigan; Roger Loiselle of Lexington, Kentucky; Paul and Jane Loiselle of Southfield, Michigan; Rene and Bonie Loiselle of Clarkdale, Arizona; and Mary Newman of Victoria, Canada. Her brother Gregory Loiselle predeceased her also succumbing to pancreatic cancer.
Joan is survived by her loving husband of 56 years, Peter Costa, and her three daughters: Michelle Ely and her husband Richard of North Pole, Alaska; Theresa Barry and her husband Michael of Chico, California and Elizabeth “Becky” Dyrr and her husband Dean of Chico, California. Joan has eight biological grandchildren and four step grandchildren she welcomed into her family with open arms and heart. Through these step grandchildren she also has two great grandchildren born in the past year. Her grandchildren are: Jessica Berry, Chico, CA; Brittany Barry, Austin, TX; Sierra Keely, Smithfield, North Carolina; Aaron Burleson, Chico, CA; Taelyr Keely, Palm Desert, California; Samantha Keely, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Nicholas Keely, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho and Tyler Olson, Chico, California. Step-grandchildren are Brianna Collins, Austin Ely, Sarah Dyrr, and Nicholas Dyrr.
Joan was always trying to increase her knowledge, saying she needed to use her brain cells so as not to lose them. She achieved multiple college degrees including a bachelor’s in mathematics from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Indiana University, Kokomo and a Master’s in Education from California State University, Chico. Joan was an avid reader and also completed puzzles such as cryptograms and Sudoku every day to keep her mind sharp.
As a young woman with a love of travel Joan became a teacher and traveled to Alaska where she taught school in Dillingham and then at Sand Point on Popoff Island. Joan then obtained a post as a teacher on the Island of Guam and taught there until her marriage to Peter. Joan met Peter on Guam. They were introduced by a mutual friend who recognized their shared faith, love of travel and similar passions in life would make them a well-matched couple. They quickly fell in love and married on July 9, 1966. Joan then focused on raising her family and supporting her husband and country as an Air Force pilot’s wife. The family moved often due to Peter’s military career living in Texas, Michigan, Panama, Wisconsin and Indiana. In 1983 Peter retired after 20 years of service and the family settled in Chico, California. Joan has lived in Chico for the past 40 years.
Joan found employment at each of the family’s assignments. She was the church organist and choir director in Panama and Indiana. She was a substitute teacher in Indiana. After moving to Chico Joan found a job as a bookkeeper at Oser’s and after Oser’s closed she worked for Bradley’s. When Bradley’s closed Joan obtained her real estate broker’s license and sold homes for a time. She then volunteered at the Catholic Ladies Food Locker in Chico and later became their bookkeeper. Even as the cancer progressed and she fought it, she still performed her work as bookkeeper at the Food Locker including writing and managing grants to meet the needs of the Chico Community.
Joan was active in Beta Sigma Phi as a member of the Laureate Beta Upsilon Chapter for over 20 years. She also was active with the Rebekah Lodge and Catholic Ladies. Service to others was always a large part of Joan’s life as was her dedicated work in the Catholic Church where she was part of the music ministry, education of youth, and a eucharistic minister over the course of her life. She often would take a leadership role when it was needed.
Joan loved her family and she loved her friends. She was blessed with many dear friends throughout the world who remained important to her over the course of her life and she was always collecting new ones with her openness and loving heart. Her love of travel took her to many exotic places and she enjoyed visiting her friends. Joan’s passing leaves an empty place in this world that will be difficult to fill and she will be sorely missed by so many.
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There is so much more to Joan’s story that cannot be told here on this page. Please take the time to use the space provided on the Brusie Funeral Home website to tell your story of Joan. Let us each honor this special woman with our shared memories.