Helen McAnena

Obituary of Helen Joan McAnena

Helen Joan McAnena (nee Crowther) Joan McAnena of Philadelphia, PA, died peacefully at home on July 6, 2020. She was 84. Joni was the beloved wife of the late Bernard X. McAnena and the loving mother of Karen, Gerard, Stephen (Laura) and Raymond. She is predeceased by her son, Bernard L. McAnena (MaryAnn) and is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She was the dear sister of Carol Bury and Raymond Crowther. Joni was born and raised in the Kensington section of Philadelphia and attended St. Joan of Arc Elementary School and St. Boniface Business School where she graduated 2nd in her class. Upon graduation, Joni went on to have a career with the Philadelphia Police Department. Joni was an avid Phillies fan - as a teenager, one of her Christmas gifts was a season pass, so she could always be found at Connie Mack Stadium where she never missed a home game. She loved her "boys of summer." At 18 years of age, Joni met the love of her life and she and Bernie married on September 7, 1957 and raised their family on Lardner Street, where they made life-long friends and memories. They lived a simple life but as long as they had each other, they never wanted for more and were rich in all the ways that matter. Family vacations were trips to Wildwood each summer, which they saved for all year. It was a real treat to eat out at Uncle Lou's and Mack's pizza, which were the only times Joni didn't cook. After years of raising her children, Joni went to work at the IRS and had a wonderful career before retiring after 25 years. She still got together with her "IRS buddies" to reminisce and laugh over lunch, most often at Gallo's or Michael's. Joni enjoyed the simple pleasures in life - spending time with family, going down the shore, eating out at BYOBs, watching Hallmark movies, doing crossword puzzles and having a highball. Joni's world was forever changed with the death of her hubby, Bernie, on September 10, 1987. She longed for the day that she would see him again and we are sure dad greeted her as he did each and every day - "Hiya honey bunny." We take great comfort in knowing that Mom is reunited with her love after almost 33 years apart and that they are once again holding hands. Given the current circumstances, a memorial service will be scheduled for a future date when a larger gathering can occur. Please visit the funeral home website, periodically over the coming weeks, for information regarding the memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 or ALS Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter, 321 Norristown Road, Suite 250, Ambler, PA 19002.
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