Joan Breen

Obituary of Joan Marie (Waterhouse) Breen

Joan Marie (Waterhouse) Breen passed away peacefully early Wednesday morning November 13, 2019 in Glastonbury.  Born December 16, 1931 in Hartford, Joan was a loving wife, a wonderful mother, a fantastic grandmother, and a stupendous great grandmother.  


A long-time resident of Manchester, Joan raised six kids with her husband and partner of 59 years, Jim.  Together they enjoyed traveling and going out to dinner with friends. But what Joan loved most was spending time with her big, boisterous family.  She was proud of her kids’ accomplishments and absolutely adored her grandkids, though she’d never let them win at board games.  Outgoing and friendly, and always quick to laugh, it seemed Joan knew someone on every street in Manchester. Jim would say she could talk to a wrong number for a half hour. 


Joan was blessed with many good friends over the years, especially, “The Knitters,” a group of awe-inspiring women who, for nearly seven decades, met every Wednesday for wine, dessert, and many, many laughs.  These formidable ladies journeyed through life together, celebrating the good times and easing the difficult ones.      


Joan loved reading, knitting, shopping, being right, a nice cup of tea, sneaking the first slice of birthday cake, walking fast, and doing her crossword puzzles where she insisted looking up an answer was not cheating. She enjoyed going to water aerobics with her close friend Anne O’Bara. She was a passionate supporter of UCONN Women’s basketball and the Boston Red Sox. Her family knew never to phone her during a close game! 

Joan was fun and funny and stubborn and beloved. She was the Rock of Gibraltar.  Joan leaves behind a sister Muriel Roff of Roseville (CA), her daughters; Joann (William) Emerson of Coventry, Kathleen (Dennis) O’Neil of Tolland, Marjorie Breen of Manchester, Patricia Breen of Los Angeles, and Colleen (Sean) McDonough of Glastonbury, eight grandchildren; Jennifer, Tara, Kasey, Scott, Bailey, Tucker, Lauren, James and six-and-a-half great grandchildren; Zachary, Olivia, Joshua, Chance, Rose, Milo and granddaughter due in January.  She was predeceased by her husband Jim, a son Richard, sisters Marjorie Hudon and Florence Treadway, and brother Charles Waterhouse.


The family would like to express their gratitude to the wonderful staff at Brookdale Buckingham and Vitas who provided compassionate care for Joan.


Arrangements are being handled by the John F. Tierney Funeral Home in Manchester.  There are no visiting hours, there will be a Mass of Christian burial at St. James Church, 896 Main Street, Manchester on Tuesday, November 26th at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow.


In lieu of flowers a memorial donation may be made in her name to Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation (ARPF) at P.O. Box 30783, Tucson, AZ  85751-5766. For online condolences, please visit

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Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
St. James Church
896 Main Street
Manchester, Connecticut, United States
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