Middletown, RI — Joan Louise Ceglarski died peacefully after a brief illness on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at her Wyatt Road home in the loving care of her family. She was 95.
Born in Providence on Nov. 13, 1927, she was the second of four children of Joseph and Loretta (Wrynn) Daly, and grew up in East Providence.
After graduating from East Providence High School, she attended Pembroke College, where she met Frank Ceglarski, a World War II veteran and Navy officer who was studying electrical engineering at Brown University.
They were married on Jan. 8, 1949, at Sacred Heart Church in East Providence, and after a few years in Rumford moved to Wyatt Road in the mid-1950s.
Joan became an active community member while raising three high-spirited children in what was then a remote part of Middletown. She was a Cub Scout den mother and Girl Scout troop leader, taught CCD at St. Lucy’s Church, volunteered at Newport Hospital and for Meals on Wheels, and enjoyed days with family and friends at the Third Beach Club and Miskiania Camp.
She and Frank, who was the vice president of Newport Electric Corp., liked sailing with friends on Narragansett Bay and on bareboat charters in the Caribbean.
Always an avid reader, and a longtime member of the Redwood Library, Joan was also passionate about the strategic game of bridge, which became an even more important part of her life after Frank died in 1987.
A member of the Viking Bridge Club for 40 years, Joan achieved the status of Ruby Life Master through the American Contract Bridge League and played in tournaments all over the country. She also taught bridge at the Clambake Club, Swinburne School, the Misquamicut Club, and in private homes on Aquidneck Island, and enjoyed introducing hundreds of people to the game.
She continued to play bridge until her health declined in February and was still solving the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in her final days at home.
Throughout her life, Joan had a special bond with young people, and was greeted with enthusiastic hugs whenever she ran into old friends of her own children.
She is survived by her three children: Stephen Ceglarski and his partner Rachel Rubin of Marblehead, Mass.; Mary Ceglarski Gregg and her husband John of Westminster West, Vt.; and John Ceglarski and his wife Kim (Perlingiero) Ceglarski of Middletown.
She is also survived by four granddaughters, who were the pride and joy of her later years and carry with them their grandmother’s sense of style and keen perception about other people: Sarah Ceglarski and her husband Drew Ligget of Los Angeles; and Emily, Katherine, and Allison Ceglarski of Middletown. And also by several nieces and nephews who remained an important part of her life.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 24, at the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, in Newport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, at St. Mary’s Church in Newport. Burial will be private.
The family would like to thank the Middletown Fire Department for the care and support they provided to Joan over the years.