Age 87

Sister Joan McKeon lived and died faithful to the motto she chose at her profession: Dieu Seul Suffi (God Alone Suffices).

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Camden, New Jersey, Sister Joan attended Sacred Heart Elementary School and Camden Catholic High School, both in Camden, New Jersey. Following graduation from high school, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1954 in Watchung, New Jersey.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgian Court College, now University, in Lakewood, New Jersey, and a master’s degree in English and English as a Second Language, from Kean College in Union, New Jersey.

Her early years she taught elementary school for 12 years in the Metuchen and Camden, New Jersey dioceses and then high school for three years at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Next, she served as the director of admissions for a total of eight years at Mount St. Mary Academy in Watchung, New Jersey, where her interest in all things Asian developed when she met potential students from around the world.

This interest led her to become an English as a Second Language teacher and to pursue the opportunity to work with refugees as a member of the Camden Diocesan Resettlement staff. After spending a year as an English as a Second Language teacher at the Jesuit Refugee School in Chanburi, Thailand, she returned to Mount St. Mary Academy as director of admissions, and then spent eight years as an English as a Second Language teacher in Jersey City, New Jersey.

She also served as a case manager for five years for Catholic Charities-Immigration and Refugee Services. Sister Joan spent her final years at McAuley Hall Health Care Center in Watchung, New Jersey.