Nature 09

Joan J. Lyons

July 4, 1935 ~ October 23, 2021 (age 86)


Joan J. (Gallagher) Lyons, 86, a longtime Rowley resident, passed away on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from COVID-19, with family by her side.

Joan was born in Chelsea, MA on July 4, 1935, daughter of the late John and Edna (Wojciechowski) Gallagher.

Joan graduated from Chelsea High School in 1952, and attended the IBM School in Boston. She was employed by the John Hancock Insurance Company for many years before retiring to marry and raise her four children in Rowley.

Joan was a lifelong avid reader, and took a part-time position at the Rowley Public Library where she was employed for 35 years as a desk technician and genealogy clerk. She enjoyed delivering books to many housebound patrons over the years, and was proud to serve as a Library Trustee for six years. In August 2016, Joan was designated a “Human Library” in honor of the Library’s 125th anniversary. In November 2017, Joan enjoyed a lovely retirement party from the Rowley Public Library hosted by library staff and the Friends of the Rowley Public Library. The celebration included family and many friends. 

Joan also worked full-time for the Empire Clothing Company in Topsfield, MA and then its parent company, Susan Bristol in Salisbury, MA, before retiring in 2000. 

Joan thoroughly enjoyed her retirement. She loved nature, birding, gardening, traveling, and handwriting letters to her many pen friends around the world, and she enjoyed frequent trips to Vermont with her family. Joan loved to crochet, and donated many baby sets and afghans to charity or raffles to benefit the Rowley Council on Aging.

Joan was dedicated to volunteerism. She spent many years serving the Rowley Council on Aging as a Friday morning office volunteer, and was also a substitute driver for Meals on Wheels. Joan loved the Christmas season, and always looked forward to participating in the creation of the annual Christmas baskets. Joan also served on the Rowley Council on Aging Board of Directors, most recently holding the position of Chairwoman.

Joan’s volunteerism also extended to the Rowley Historical Society, where she served as the Corresponding Secretary for many years. She also spent time as a member of the Friends of the Council on Aging as well as the Friends of the Rowley Public Library. She was a member of TRIAD, served on the Five Year Long Range Planning Committee for the Rowley Public Library, and served on the 375th anniversary committee as a representative of the Rowley Council on Aging. Much to her delight, Joan enthusiastically represented Rowley seniors on the COA float during the 375th parade!

Joan was known for her quick wit and sense of humor. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

Joan is survived by her son, Kevin M. Lyons, daughter-in-law Ellen M. Lyons, and grandchildren Timothy J. Lyons and Lily J. Lyons of Port St. Lucie, FL; three daughters, Kathleen Lyons of Port St. Lucie, FL; Coleen Lyons of Peabody, MA; Carolyn Lyons of Georgetown, MA; and many cousins. Known as “Babci” (Polish for grandmother), she adored her grandchildren and treasured the time she spent with them.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 9:00 – 10:30 AM, immediately followed by a memorial service at 10:30 AM, at F. S. Roberts & Son Funeral Home, 14 Independent Street, Rowley, MA. Graveside burial will be private. To light a memorial candle or to leave condolences, please visit

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the family respectfully requests masks be worn inside the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Joan’s memory may be made to the Friends of the Rowley Public Library, P.O. Box 276, Rowley, MA 01969; the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society; 63 Elm Street, Salisbury, MA 01952; or the Rowley Council on Aging, P.O. Box 523, Rowley, MA 01969.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan J. Lyons, please visit our floral store.


November 13, 2021

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
F. S. Roberts & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Service
14 Independent Street
Rowley, MA 01969-0164

Memorial Service
November 13, 2021

10:30 AM
F. S. Roberts & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Service
14 Independent Street
Rowley, MA 01969-0164

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