WEST HARTFORD – Sister of Mercy Mary Joan (Joan K.) Cook, Ph.D., died on Feb. 13, 2013, at St. Mary Home, where she had been a member of the order’s Baggot Street Community.
Born in New Rochelle, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late William O. and Mary E. (Sullivan) Cook. She graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy and St. Joseph College in West Hartford and received advanced degrees from Boston College and the University of Toronto.
She entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1947 and taught in St. Patrick and St. Joseph Schools in Hartford as well as in Danbury and Greenwich. She then joined the English department at St. Joseph College, now the University of St. Joseph, where she remained for nearly 50 years, retiring as Faculty Emerita. She took a sabbatical to serve as dean of studies at Lauralton Hall in Milford for two years.
After retiring from teaching, Sister Mary Joan served as an academic advisor in the Weekend Program for Adult Learners and volunteered in the college archives. Recently, she wrote the history of the first 75 years of St. Joseph College entitled St. Joseph College 1932-2007: The Art of Becoming in a Changing Society.
Sister Mary Joan was a long-standing active member of the Sisters of Mercy Justice Committee and a woman of many interests.
She is survived by several nieces and nephews and her religious community. She was predeceased by her sisters, Mary O. Bidwell, Jane G. Murphy and Edna K. Hammond, and her brothers, William O. Cook and Father John P. Cook.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Feb. 20 in Connor Chapel at the University of St. Joseph. Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery.
Donations in Sister Mary Joan Cook’s memory may be sent to the Sisters of Mercy, 55 E. Cedar St., Newington, CT 06111, or to the University of St. Joseph, 1678 Asylum Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117.