Mary Joan Rees, of Hornell

HORNELL-Mary Joan Rees, 84, of Main Street, passed away early Thursday afternoon (May 18, 2017) at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell, after a short illness.

Born in Rexville on June 1, 1932, she was a daughter of the late Thomas and Agnes (McCaffery) Grumley. She was married on April 23, 1955 at St. Mary’s Church in Rexville to John F. Rees, who predeceased her on Aug. 18, 1999, after 44 years of marriage. Besides her parents and husband, she was also predeceased by four infant brothers; her brother, Ted Grumley and her sister, Catherine Grumley.

A graduate of Greenwood Central School, Joan has resided in Hornell for most of her life. Before retiring she was employed as the Head Cashier at the former A & P. Grocery Store. Later she became employed at the former Tuttle & Rockwell Department Store and was also employed as a hostess at the former Coachlight Restaurant in Hornell.

Joan was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish and was a devout communicant of St. Ann’s Church in Hornell where she also volunteered her time counting the weekly collections. Her prayer life was very important to her and she devoted time each day to pray the Rosary.

Throughout the years, she and her husband John purchased houses in Hornell to refurbished to prepare them to rent. They were both avid antique collectors and enjoyed spending time gardening and Joan loved to read.

A beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, her loving family includes her two children, John J. Rees ( Diana Sermonis) of Hornell and Mary Ann Rees (Bill Truesdell) of Rochester; her two grandchildren, Jon Michael Rees (Catherine Hellsten) of Salisbury, Md. and Jennifer Melissa Rees of Rochester; her two sisters, Josephine (Richard) DeSanto of Rochester and Patricia (Salvatore) Cavallaro of Connecticut; her sister-in-law, Mary Smalt of Wayland; also several nieces, nephews and cousins; as well as her very dear friends, Judy Coleman Nixon, Carol Kemp and Marie Patti.

The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of Mary Joan Rees.

Calling hours are from 4-7 p.m. Sunday at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell. Friends are invited to meet her family at St. Ann’s Church in Hornell where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday. Committal prayers and interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Fremont.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in her memory to either Steuben County Rural Ministry, P.O. Box 61, Canisteo, N.Y. 14823, to St. Ann’s Church of Our Lady of the Valley Parish, 27 Erie Ave., Hornell or to the Hornell Area Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, N.Y 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.

Online condolences or remembrances of Joan are welcomed at