Joan T. McColly - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Obituaries

Joan T. McColly

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Posted: Monday, June 3, 2019 3:38 pm

Joan McColly, 72, wife of John McColly of Coronado, passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, at Sharp Memorial Hospital after a lengthy battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Her husband of 50 years, John, was by her side.

Joan, the only child of Joseph and Celia Terry (both deceased), was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in the Woodmoor area of Silver Springs, Maryland, and graduated from Northwood High School.

Joan met John, a young Naval Aviator, at a church-sponsored afternoon tea. They were married in Northminster Presbyterian Church immediately after her graduation from Wilson College as an education major.

Joan began her career teaching sixth grade at Warrington Elementary School in Pensacola, FL. Following the birth of their son, the family moved to Coronado where Joan founded and directed the Crown City Singers, a choral group of Coronado women; was a member of the Light Attack Squadron Four (VAL-4) Officers Wives’ Group; and an active member of the Coronado Junior Woman’s Club.

Joan’s life reflected her dedication to her family. To better share in John’s joy in aviation, Joan took flying lessons, earned her pilot’s license and instrument rating in 1972, and bought and flew her own plane. She was the subject of an article in the San Diego Union Tribune reporting on a solo flight she made accompanied by a guinea pig, small poodle, and her six-year old son. The article featured a picture with the caption, “Local Aviatrix Has Epic Flight.”

Joan also became a professional musician, mastered the harp, and held the post of organist for the Resurrection Lutheran Church for 30 years.

Joan earned her Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis on special needs children, a degree that led her to the Coronado Unified School District staff as a valued substitute until her death.

Joan is survived by her husband, John III; son, John IV; and granddaughter, Maddison. Joan is sorely missed by her family, friends, professional associates, and the hundreds of Coronado students with whom she interacted.

A memorial service will be held at the Resurrection Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 9, 2019, at 10:15 a.m. In place of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Resurrection Lutheran Church Organ Fund or the local Humane Society.