Jo-Ann Marie Veillette
Jo-Ann Marie Veillette
  • September 9, 1941 - November 2, 2016
  • Madison, Connecticut

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I am the husband of Jo-Ann Veillette-Stonehart. We met at meetings in Branford College, Yale University , where we were both Fellows. It took some time before I was able to get her to notice me but the seminal event was at a Yale Commencement where we sat together. That led to quiet coffees, discrete dinners, and long late-night telephone conversations. At the time she lived in a small apartment in West Haven and was very involved with the student population, teaching women's literature, and campus ministry, and was known as "Sister Jo-Ann". In time, she felt that she had accomplished everything she wanted in her religious order and at Yale and had decided to exit both institutions. We became engaged after she was released from her vows by the Vatican and we were married in Madison on 9th September 2005. She moved to Madison and due to her continued love of teaching, taught at Naugatuck Valley Community College. She became active in local institutions; teaching at Literacy Volunteers, and created a book club for RJ Julia's called Julia Reads. Her fascination with English women's literature spanned from Emily Dickinson, and Jane Austen, to P.D. James. She loved watching Downton Abbey and would binge watch all of those episodes. Then there was the Bauer Park Gardeners, she was active in the Madison Food Pantry, chaired the Madison Beach Club outdoor flower committee, and exercised with the Curves ladies in the early morning. Her passions were reading and sitting in her beautiful quiet English garden, surrounded by blooming flowers all year long, which she shared all over town; feeding her birds, swimming in her pool late at night, and entertaining crowds of friends. It was her most favourite place to be. Her Christmas letters were legendary and over 250 were sent out, each with a personal message. She made friends wholesale and the famous annual New Years Day party went from about twelve people pre-Jo-Ann and became 80-100 after she arrived. She loved entertaining, both at dinner parties and at multiple Garden Parties where crowds of people were invited. She loved going to New York, staying at the Yale Club, attending the theater, ballet, and eating at decidedly superior restaurants. Shopping on 5th Avenue was a bonus for her. With me, she had an opportunity to travel throughout Europe; Greece, Spain, France, Italy, and especially many times to London and to King's College, Cambridge, which she loved and where she was feted. She blossomed and absolutely adored her grand-children; Genevieve, Graeme, and Vivienne, who now live in McLain Virginia.
She was an amazingly talented contributor, a wonderful and very special person who reached out to everyone. She was the perfect friend, lover, and wife to me and I adored her. It should, be said of her that she was beautiful, kind, generous, gentle, and loved people.


A Memorial Mass is to be held at:
Saint Thomas More, the Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale268 Park Street, New Haven Connecticut 06511-4714
on Saturday 19th November 2016 at 11.00 am.