Joan Pauline (McNamara) Radin (“JP”) a longtime Ansonia resident and pharmacist, entered into eternal rest Dec. 15, 2021.
She was born June 6th, 1933. (at least that was when we celebrated it every year, 'till it was time to collect Medicare and there was no birth certificate for that date. We searched Stratford Town Hall records and found she was born at midnight and the Doctor who recorded it at town hall recorded it as June 5, 1933.) Of course, she came into this world feet first and ready to take off running.
Joan was born at home in a house built by her uncles. Her Dad, Joseph McNamara was an engineer and became caretaker of St. Michael Cemetery in Stratford and moved the family into the graveyard. She spoke often of the many veteran burials during World War II and how weekends were filled with the sad haunting melody of Taps. Her father was a Seabee in WW II, and she has the original letters written to and from him. She often laughed about how after one date, guys never asked her out again because they did not want to pick her up in a cemetery.
Joan graduated from Stratford High Class of 1951 and went to UConn School of Pharmacy in Storrs. She graduated class of 1955 as a registered pharmacist.
She returned to Stratford and worked in downtown Milford at a local pharmacy. One day she came into work and overnight the traffic pattern changed. She did not notice and was driving the wrong way down a one-way street. The Milford police officer who stood in the barrel at the end of the green, gave her a ticket. After a few hours passed he went into the pharmacy and asked her on a date.
Their adventure began. Frank Radin left the police force and went back to being a plumber/steamfitter and off they went thru New York to Long Island. Their three daughters were born in Potsdam, Niagara Falls and Amityville Long Island between 1958 and 1961.
They moved back to Stratford in 1965 and lived in the house that she was born in.
In March 1975, Joan purchased lock, stock, and barrel Lear Pharmacy in Ansonia CT from I. Fred Lear. She became a sole proprietor, woman owned business. Unfortunately, her unemployed husband had to co-sign for her with the bank, but Mr. Lear trusted her. She was fully computerized in 1977 and her back up disks weighed 25 pounds!
She serviced five local nursing homes and worked 7 days a week and was on call 24 hours a day. Yet never let her family feel anything less than valued and loved.
Family time was spent on the family boat, docked at Pootatuck Yacht Club in Stratford and whenever time was available, they went cruising to Long Island, fishing, relaxing from a weeklong trip around Long Island to weekends anchored in Port Jefferson.
Family time was especially important to Joan. She sacrificed so much so her children had great lives.
At 58 years old, Joan got custody of her first grandchild, Kellen. She raised him as her own. Loving him and still running her business.
Joan was a 3-term Alderman for the fifth ward in Ansonia. Joan was a fighter and tried to listen to her constituents and fight for what the fifth ward wanted and needed. During her terms, Wakelee Avenue was upgraded with streetlights, sidewalks, and beautifully paved road.
Her daughter Kathy came back from her accounting career in 1995 and the two of them have successfully run the pharmacy. Joan was happy because her oldest and youngest grandsons were raised at the pharmacy since birth. She was happiest holding Kellen and Joe as she waited on customers or filled prescriptions. When Joe got his driver’s license, she looked forward to him driving her to any where she wanted to go. She said her grandmother was the only person who would let her drive her after she had gotten her license, so she was happy Joe has the same memory.
Joan was front row at every performance that Kellen and Joe were in. She loved knitting, crocheting, and doing crafts. She sold dolls that she would make the clothes for in the 1990’s.
Joan was active in volunteering. Always happy to help her daughter no matter what Kathy was getting into. There are many fond memories of the pharmacy being known as “the Penny Candy Store” and generations of families stopping by to say hi. She ran her business as a local family run business and many people just came for things, they could not find anywhere else. They said if you can’t find it … go to Lear’s! She would say… come to Lear’s first!
Joan leaves to cherish her memory her daughter Kathy Radin, grandsons Kellen Schult and Joe Radin-Morabito and fur grandbaby Daisy. She also leaves daughters Cheryl Norman, Jo-Ann Campbell (Ray) and grandchildren Aren Norman, Emily Campbell, and Abigail Campbell.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, Dec. 20 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Rosary Church, 10 Father Salemi Drive in Ansonia. The Jenkins King & Malerba Funeral Home, 12 Franklin St. Ansonia, has been privileged with arrangements. (www.jenkinskingfh.com)