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Irene Joyner

Jan. 13, 2017

Just short of her 93rd birth­day, Irene left us on Fri­day.

Irene was born in Ha­zle­ton on March 2, 1924. She was a daugh­ter of the late Henry P. and Vic­to­ria (Dal­don) Ta­manini.

She grew up on Hayes Street and was a de­vout mem­ber of Most Pre­cious Blood Church in Ha­zle­ton.

She sold Avon for more than four decades and served on the for­mer Ha­zle­ton Hos­pi­tal Women’s Aux­il­iary.

She was a mem­ber of the Beaver Mead­ows Se­nior Cen­ter and the Ha­zle­ton Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. (No, she wasn’t Jewish, but was adopted as such by her friend, Mable Brown!)

She lived in her North Vine Street home for more than 62 years, where few fam­i­lies in her neigh­bor­hood did not come to know and love her. Irene was al­ways there to help out when­ever there was a need. She was known for her fan­tas­tic hol­i­day cook­ies, most es­pe­cially her light and airy “crys­tals,” which melted in your mouth like sweet but­ter, and for her full-calo­rie Easter pies, which, for those out­side the Ha­zle­ton area, are es­sen­tially in­dus­tri­al­strength Ital­ian quiche. Fam­ily oc­ca­sions were of­ten graced with her fa­mous mac­a­roni and cheese or her equally amaz­ing meat­balls.

Dur­ing World War II, Irene worked at a Birds Eye fac­tory in New Jersey. There, she helped the war ef­fort by pack­ing frozen foods — along­side sev­eral Ger­man POWs, whom she al­ways said were ac­tu­ally quite nice young boys.

Irene was a sto­ry­teller’s sto­ry­teller and a jokester of the first or­der, traits she most def­i­nitely passed on in the fam­ily. Laugh­ter is what we re­mem­ber and laugh­ter what was the most of­ten heard sound com­ing from her house. If you run into her in heaven, ask her about the time she hit the pig while driv­ing in South Jersey! Trust me, it’s fun­nier than it sounds.

She was a pushover for her chil­dren, her grand­chil­dren and most re­cently for her great-grand­chil­dren. She was a card player who helped her grand­chil­dren learn the fine art of poker, en­joyed the oc­ca­sional trip to the casino and loved her lot­tery tick­ets, which more of­ten than not paid off for her.

Irene was an avid bowler. Her var­i­ous teams through­out the years de­pended upon Irene for the clutch spare or strike. Well into her early 80s, she re­mained a piv­otal player, per­haps for her style or per­haps be­cause she kept her team laugh­ing so much with her unique hu­mor.

In re­cent years, Irene was able to re­main in her home be­cause of the as­sis­tance of her won­der­ful care­givers, Maria Rosa, Jan­ice Baran and Sonja Ole­ni­acz. Each care­giver, in her own spe­cial way, made it pos­si­ble for Irene to live in the home she loved un­til her fi­nal few days. Her fam­ily can’t thank them enough for their love and at­ten­tion.

The care given by the staff at Moun­tain City as well as the staff of the Hos­pice of the Sa­cred Heart helped to make Irene’s fi­nal days safe, com­fort­able and pain­less as she made her tran­si­tion from this life to the next.

Irene is sur­vived by her chil­dren, James (Neree) Sando, North Wales; Cyn­thia Sando Far­ley, Lan­caster; and Michael Sando, Jef­fer­son­ville; step­son, Larry Joyner, New Mex­ico; son-in-law, Carl Grimm, Re­hoboth, Del.; grand­chil­dren, Sarah (An­thony) Coc­chimiglio, Alexan­der Sando, Vic­to­ria (Mark) Buck­wal­ter, Kier­nan (Sarah) Far­ley, Shealyn Far­ley and Har­ri­son Sando; and great-grand­chil­dren, An­thony and Casey Coc­chimiglio, Jade Buck­wal­ter and Alayna and Ali­cia Beane.

She is also sur­vived by her sis­ter, Pauline Ta­manini; her brother-in-law, Larry Mo­ratelli; her sis­ters-in-law, Bob­bie Shipp, Maria Ta­manini and Marie Wil­son; her 37 nieces and neph­ews; and far too many great-nieces, great-neph­ews and even great-great-nieces and great­great-neph­ews to ac­tu­ally count.

In ad­di­tion to her par­ents, Irene was pre­ceded in death by her first hus­band, Ernest Sando; her sec­ond hus­band, Clifton Joyner; her el­dest son, Ernest Sando Jr.; her sis­ters, Elsie, Lucy and Ellen; and her broth­ers, James, Tony, Frank, Bob and Ge­orge.

While Irene’s story with us has come to a close, we know she would ask you to do sev­eral things for her. Tell sto­ries. Tell jokes. Live, love and laugh. It’s what she did so well for so long! If you do these things for her, then her story will surely con­tinue.

Friends and fam­ily are in­vited to a view­ing Sun­day from 6 to 8 p.m. at Rosen­stock Fu­neral Home, 229 W. Broad St., Ha­zle­ton.

A Mass of Chris­tian Burial will be cel­e­brated at Most Pre­cious Blood Church on Mon­day at 11 a.m.

In­ter­ment will be pri­vate at a later date.

Do­na­tions in mem­ory of Irene Joyner may be made to Hos­pice of the Sa­cred Heart. For in­for­ma­tion on how to make a donation in mem­ory, please e-mail we­care@ hos­pice­sa­cred­ or call 570-706-2400.

GARY MCCULLOUGH/As­so­ci­ated Press

Asia Howard, pos­ing for a photo at St. Johns River Park in Jack­sonville, Fla., in Oc­to­ber, says she was stuck in mostly re­tail and fast-food jobs af­ter grad­u­at­ing high school, un­able to get a job in bank­ing, a pro­fes­sion she prized for its steady hours.

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