Joanne S. (Straley) Jarrell

November 8, 1930 ~ May 14, 2021 (age 90)


Joanne S. Jarrell, 90, of Betzwood, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully on May 14, 2021, after a short illness.

Joanne was born in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania on November 8, 1930, the daughter of Ralph Nesbit and Helen Marie (Sutton) Straley. She earned her B.S. from Penn State University in 1952, and then taught at the Hershey School for Boys before returning to graduate school at Drexel University, where she earned an M.S. in Home Economics and subsequently oversaw Drexel’s historic clothing collection. While at Drexel, Joanne also met her future husband at the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church’s Young Adult group, whose members remained close friends and met regularly over the years.

Following the birth of her children, Joanne became a full-time mother and homemaker. She was also active in volunteer and community organizations, playing key leadership roles both as President of the local Girl Scout Council and in the United Way, where she served on a number of committees. She had an enthusiasm for lifelong learning and relished her membership and the friendships she made, both in the Conversational Club of Norristown and as a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Phoenixville and its TILT (“Topics in Life Today”) group. Joanne was full of life and enjoyed ballroom dancing with her husband, as well as cultivating her beautiful gardens, which were full of flowers and attracted numerous butterflies, birds and other animals to the yard. Up until the last year of her life, Joanne could be found walking briskly around the block or along the trail at Betzwood Park.

She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Donald; daughter, Kimberly (Michael Armani), of Erieville, NY; and brother, Ralph N. (Neb) Straley (Gisele) of LaPlata, Maryland. She was predeceased by her son, Mark Stephen (Jane Ellen Jarrell) of Baton Rouge, LA.

A memorial service will be planned at a later date. Those who wish to remember Joanne in a special way may make gifts in her memory to: Philabundance, 3616 South Galloway St, Philadelphia, PA 19148 or

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joanne S. (Straley) Jarrell, please visit our floral store.


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