Joann D. Lacroce (née Pezzuro) of Mt. Laurel, NJ (formerly of Haddonfield, NJ) passed away peacefully from complications due to metastatic vulvar and breast cancer on December 6 at the age of 80 at Samaritan Care in Mt. Holly, NJ. We are tremendously grateful to the skilled and loving caregivers and friends who cared for her in her beloved home during her final weeks, and at the facility during her final hours. Amanda, Holly, Tenisha, Heidi, Carly, Cheryl, Mavis, Lisa, Jennifer, Sue and Tica are amazingly fierce and powerful women who, like Joann, are an inspiration.
Joann D. Lacroce was born in Camden, NJ, a blessed only child to Concetta Pezzuro (née Romano) and J. Joseph Pezzuro on June 5, 1943. She spent her youth on her family’s farm on Route 70 in Marlton, NJ (now Cherry Hill) close to her mother’s parents, and many beloved aunts, uncles and cousins, all proud of their “Siciliano” heritage. She is a 1961 graduate of St. Mary of the Angels Academy for Girls in Haddonfield, NJ (which closed in 1972). Her Catholic education shaped her and she remained in contact with her classmates and attended reunions over the past 60+ years. She was also a dedicated member of the Royaleers Drum & Bugle Corps. Joann was a devoted American and proud of her father’s honorable service in the US Navy during WWII. She was happy to donate his uniforms to American Legion Post 331 in her cherished Stone Harbor, NJ, where she had a summer home for many years.
Joann was a meticulous worker and skilled organizer both personally and professionally, as well as a thoughtful and loving friend. She made a strong impression on everyone she met and, like her father, was a natural “raconteur” with an extraordinary memory. She was highly social and loved music, especially the “new” rock-n-roll of the 1950s. Recently, she was a devotee of the legendary Deana Martin’s weekly YouTube performances. Joann’s beautiful hazel eyes (from her dad) and her fiery red hair (from her mom) hinted at her seemingly inexhaustible energy, drive and determination. She was a force. She loved to travel, having been to Hawaii, Australia, Egypt and France, among many other places, often with her longtime companion Albert E. Nepi, who predeceased her.
Joann is also predeceased by her parents, aunts and uncles, son S. Joseph Lacroce, who heartbreakingly passed away from leukemia at the age of 12 in 1975, and daughter Anne Marie Linden (née Lacroce), who passed from metastatic breast cancer at the age of 47 in 2013. Joann is survived by her daughter Lisa Lacroce Patterson of Princeton, NJ, her son-in-law Thomas Linden of Gillette, NJ, her former son-in-law John Patterson of Princeton, NJ, her ex-husband Sam Lacroce of Haddonfield and Stone Harbor, and the pride and joys of her life, her three grandchildren: Jackie Patterson of New York, NY, Audrey Patterson of Princeton, NJ and Patrick Linden of Gillette, NJ.
Joann “got by with a little help from” her many friends, especially her doctors and healthcare providers, and the gentle folks suffering from Extramammary Paget Disease (EMPD) across the globe who supported her from afar throughout her terrible illness.
On Monday, Dec. 11, visitation will take place at 9:30am and a Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00am at Christ the King Church, 200 Windsor Ave., Haddonfield, NJ. Entombment will immediately follow at Harleigh Cemetery, 1640 Haddon Ave., Camden, NJ.
In lieu of sending flowers, please consider making a contribution to the Skraban-Deardorff Syndrome Foundation, which was established in 2022 to research the rare genetic difference affecting Audrey and hundreds of others worldwide: www.skdeas.org or by mail to Skraban-Deardorff Syndrome Foundation, 14039 Hwy 74 E, Suite A6 #123, Indian Trail, NC 28079
Condolences and Memories may be shared at www.mccannhealey.com under the obituary of Joann D. Lacroce. Funeral Arrangements and Inquiries may be made through: McCann-Healey Funeral Home, Gloucester City. Ph: 856-456-1142