Joan Ann Steele

WATERTOWN — Joan Ann Steele, age 81, died Monday, October 12, 2020, at Cheshire Regional Rehabilitation Center, Cheshire, after a brief battle with cancer.

Mrs. Steele was born September 24, 1939, in Waterbury, to Louise (Shipley) and John Cunningham. A long-time resident of Watertown, Mrs. Steele attended Watertown High School and worked for many years at the Eyelematic Manufacturing Company, before going back to school in her 50s to learn data entry and get her driver’s license.

Joan was an avid bingo player and was known to win more than a few dollars as she played with her friends at Buckingham Terrace in Watertown. Joan cherished the time spent with family and made special bonds with those who worked with her.

She enjoyed a meal out and had a special place in her heart for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and Carvel ice cream. She was a lover of comedy and live shows and her laugh was unforgettable.

Left to honor her legacy and cherish her love and memory is her “twin” sister Lorraine Penta of Thomaston; her two daughters, Pamela (Albert) Prinz of Bethany and Sharon (Terrance) Dion of Southington; her son, Robert (Christine) Steele of Torrington, as well as loving nieces, nephews, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Joan is predeceased by her loving husband, Bruce Avery Steele, her parents and her brother, John (Jack) Cunningham.

The Steele family gratefully acknowledges the exceptional compassionate and professional care of the staff at Cheshire Regional Rehab and hospice services provided by Vitas Healthcare.

A private graveside service for Joan will take place on Monday, October 19. A public celebration of life will be held post-pandemic at the convenience of the family.

O’Neill Funeral Home, 742 Main St., Oakville, is in charge of arrangements.

Donations in Joan’s memory may be made to Connecticut Community Care (, whose case management services allowed Joan to live independently in her later years.

Memories endure only if you share them. A condolence, words of comfort or a personal memory may be shared with Joan’s family on her tribute page at

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