Joan Elizabeth Hamm Sheely, 91, passed away Sunday October 1, 2023 at St. Peter’s Hospital surrounded by her family after an extended battle with short term memory loss.
She was born on October 25, 1931 in Victory Mills, NY to Caswell Hamm and Mary Mezera Hamm. She attended a one room schoolhouse in Grangerville, NY and graduated from Schuylerville High School in 1949. She attended nursing school in Troy, NY which led to her nursing career at Saratoga hospital and later at St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady. While working at Saratoga hospital, she met, in her words, “the worst patient she ever treated”, who was in there as a result of a severe motorcycle accident. On June 6th 1953, she married that “worst patient of hers” and the love of her life, Roger Irving Sheely. She was a devoted wife for 69 years.
Joan decided to give up her nursing career to pursue being a mom while her four children were growing up and then returned to St. Clare’s Hospital to finish out her nursing career until retirement. Joan was a loving, caring, giving mother and grandmother that would never let anyone leave her home hungry and well known for her homemade goodies. The ultimate cookie and pie maker, Joan was known to make in excess of 20 pies and batches of cookies for family and local events.
Even as her memory failed, her wit, sense of humor and concern for the well-being of others never diminished. Some would say her memory loss resulted in increased questioning as to if everyone had enough to eat.
She enjoyed being a mother and supporting her family. She was the ultimate racing mom, attending with her husband, most of her sons’ local stock car racing events. Joan also thoroughly enjoyed all of her grandchildren and attending their sporting and musical events.
Joan is survived by her husband Roger, children, Jeff (Kim) of Alplaus, Doug (Paula) of Schuylerville, Debra (Michael) Klahr of Latham, and Nancy (David) Cerniglia of Vischer’s Ferry; grandchildren, Adam Sheely and Becca (Zack) Sheely-King, Justin (Liz) Klahr, Garrett Klahr, Tucker and Dylan Sheely, Brenna, Calynn and Kathan Cerniglia; loving nieces and nephews, Pam (Joe) Driscoll of Schuylerville, Gary (Mary Lou) Squires of Schuylerville, Ronald Hamm of Raleigh North Carolina, Gracia Hamm of Scotia.
She was predeceased by her brother John (Naomi) Hamm, sister Katherine (Ralph) Squires, brother-in-Law Lewis Sheely and nephew Norman Hamm.
Calling hours will take place on Monday, October 9, 2023 from 4:00pm - 7:00pm with a Funeral Service to begin at 7:00pm at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 343 New Karner Rd., Colonie NY 12205.
Interment will be on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road Schuylerville, NY 12871. Please arrive to the cemetery at 11:15am to gather and meet the family before processing to the service pavilion at 11:30am. As you enter the gates, please pull to the right to join the procession, and wait for further instructions.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests, donations be made to the Northeastern Association for the Blind at Albany, by visiting https://naba-vision.org/donations/naba-online-donations/