Joan Frances Glasheen, age 83, died peacefully on July 4, 2022, at St. Clare Home in Newport, RI. She was born on March 9, 1939, to Leo and Viola (Epstein) Glasheen in Providence, RI.
Joan graduated from Burrillville High School and Newport Hospital School of Nursing. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Salve Regina College (now Salve Regina University) and a Master of Science degree in Community Health Nursing from Boston University. Following her graduation from Newport Hospital School of Nursing, Joan entered the Sisters of Mercy. While a Sister of Mercy, Joan worked as a nurse at Pine Harbor School, Mount St. Rita Health Care Center, Roger Williams Hospital and Blackstone Valley Health Center. In addition, she worked for the Visiting Nurses Association in Providence and Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties.
After 27 years as a Sister of Mercy, Joan left her religious order. She then helped train a new generation of nurses as a professor of nursing at the Community College of RI in Newport. Some of the nurses that Joan trained became her caregivers in her final years. While at St. Clare, Joan had to be gently reminded that she was retired and did not have to take care of her fellow residents or supervise staff.
Joan was a member of the American Nurses Association, the National League of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau. She served on numerous boards, including the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration, Salve Regina College Board of Trustees, and the Newport Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Board of Directors. She served as a Big Sister with the Big Brother Big Sisters organization. Joan was a former parishioner at St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth where she sang in the choir. She became a member of St. Mary’s Church in Newport following her move to St. Clare. Joan also attended mass regularly in the St. Clare Chapel.
Joan enjoyed spending time with friends and family, photography, gardening, travel and going to the beach.
Joan is survived by her brother Leo Glasheen (Rita), her nieces Carol Barnabe (Mark), Linda Grela (Peter), and Brooke Knight, her former sister-in-law Martha Glasheen, numerous great nieces, and a great nephew. Joan was predeceased by her sister Claire Knight and nephew Robert Knight. She is also survived by several close friends she met while attending nursing school and graduate school – Alice Hoskins, Betty Mello, Mary Roche, and Dottie Souza.
Joan’s niece Brooke said, “She has helped so many people throughout her life. She was a kindhearted soul. She was a nun, nurse, nursing instructor, Big Sister, visiting nurse and more. She has truly dedicated her life to doing good for others. I’m so proud of her devotion to help others and am empowered by her choices and her accomplishments.”
We would like to thank the caregivers from St. Clare Home and from Visiting Nurse Home and Hospice for taking such good care of Joan over the past five years. Donations in Joan’s memory may be made in her name to St. Clare Home, 309 Spring St, Newport, RI 02840 or to Visiting Nurse Home and Hospice, 1184 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, July 10, 2022, from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00am in St. Mary’s Church, 12 William St, Newport. Burial will follow in St. Ann Cemetery in Cranston.