Folsom Funeral Service

Juraschek, Joanne

Joanne Kowalski Juraschek, a loving daughter, sister, wife, and mother died July 12th, 2009 after a long struggle with ovarian cancer. Although she was born in New York, Joanne lived in Dedham for nearly 30 years. She was 54. Joanne had an exuberant spirit and accomplished much in her lifetime.  Her deeds were not the type that are reported in the news, but the type that are borne in the hearts of the many she touched. 

Joanne’s musical talent and passion for music was evident from an early age.  Her singing and piano playing was a joyful presence in the Kowalski home through her adolescence. She performed lead roles in high school opera productions and solo work in piano recitals.  She inspired her siblings and made her parents proud of her creative work. She pursued her musical education at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. To Joanne, music was a gift through which she could bless, care for, and minister to those around her. Music remained a constant for Joanne throughout her life, a means to express her faith, love and creativity whether through teaching piano lessons, accompanying a school choir, or providing music for numerous church events.

 Joanne met the love of her life in Boston and was married to Paul Juraschek on October 6, 1979. Together they had four children: Anna, Stephen, Elizabeth, and Andrew. During her early years as a mother, Joanne devoted her time to her children. Her love was unconditional and unwavering and she encouraged each of her children to reach their full potential. Joanne’s home schooling of her own children during their earliest years provided a strong foundation for their education.  The love with which she raised her four children has inspired them to care for others as she had done; all went on to choose caring professions and fields of study – teacher, doctor, and advocate for the disabled. 

Joanne’s heart and her love for people extended beyond her family.  Her home was always filled with friends. She loved to feed people and provide hospitality. She spent years working at the Carroll Center for the Blind, training the visually impaired to use computers and transcribing menus in Braille.  In particular, Joanne took great joy in caring for children. Joanne volunteered in her local church’s children service for over 25 years including directing summer camp.  She tirelessly volunteered at every school her children attended. Eventually, she worked as an administrator in Westgate Christian Academy.  She spent hours mentoring teachers and students, pouring herself out to shape the lives of the students under her care.  Whenever a child needed someone to speak with or required redirection, Joanne provided them with a safe place to learn and pursue their dreams and aspirations. Later, her love of books and young people converged and she obtained a Master’s degree from Drexel University in library science. She took the initiative to build a library at Boston Trinity Academy.

Many of Joanne’s accomplishments were motivated by her deep love of the Lord Jesus. While at music school, she came to know this wonderful person and her relationship with Him shaped many of her decisions, abilities, and attributes. Above all else, Joanne sought to grow in her relationship with this person and to serve Him in all she did. In her last days, she expressed how happy she was to finally go to meet this One, after years of loving and serving Him with her entire being. Her love of the Lord radiated to so many around her in all that she pursued and was involved in.

After she was diagnosed with cancer, the final two years of Joanne’s life were an extraordinary act of courage and faith. Throughout her health related difficulties, Joanne ministered grace to those around her and offered her beautiful smile. Her courage, grace, faith, and kindness were evident throughout this time on her blog While Joanne will be inestimably missed, the peace and loving kindness she instilled in those close to her – family, friends, students and neighbors – will live on.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Gathering Saturday, July 18th at 2 PM in the meeting hall at The Church in Newton, 50 Dudley Road.  In lieu of flowers donations to The Church in Newton, 50 Dudley Road, Newton, MA, 02459 would be appreciated.  Private burial was in Brookdale Cemetery in Dedham.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Maria Goldstein
    July 16th, 2009 | 11:40 am

    Dear Steve and family:
    Please accept my condolences and all my support about this loss.

  2. Larry Vifquain
    July 16th, 2009 | 11:54 am

    Dear Juraschek family, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and the loss of your wife/mother. I came to know Joanne through my Betty, also deceased from cancer, since they worked together at Westgate Christian Academy. I am sure with her strong faith and devotion to the Lord that she was welcomed to the everlasting kingdom.

    Larry Vifquain

  3. Jerry & Lorraine Comeau
    July 18th, 2009 | 7:42 am

    Dear Juraschek family Our sincere condolences on the loss of your wife/mother. I wil always remember hearing her play the piano and singing from the house next door. She always had a smile on her face whenever I saw her.
    Jerry and Lorraine Comeau

  4. Natali DaSilva
    July 18th, 2009 | 8:25 am

    Dear Ana and family,

    Please accept my condolences.

    God bless you.

  5. Jo Lynne & David Johnson
    July 18th, 2009 | 12:43 pm

    Dear Anna and Family –
    We were so saddened to hear of the loss of your mother. Please know you are in our thoughts and we hope that you will find peace in the wonderful memories of your mother. She was an inspiration to so many.

    Jo Lynne and David Johnson
    parents, Amanda Johnson – Montrose ’00

  6. Penina Scher
    July 21st, 2009 | 1:48 pm

    To the Juraschek family,

    I am so sad to hear of your loss. Joanne and I were fellow performers at high school: she was a friend as well as a musical inspiration. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    With kindest regards,

    Penina Scher

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Folsom Funeral Service

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