302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Joan Elinor Hookey

Joan Elinor Hookey, age 82, passed away peacefully on June 29, 2018 at ManorCare Health Services in Wilmington, DE with her loving children Steve, Larry and Susan by her side.

Joan was born in June 1936 in Philadelphia to parents Matthew Nerch and Katherine O’Connor. She graduated from West Catholic Girls High School (Philadelphia) in 1954. She excelled academically and developed a lifelong passion for reading.

Joan Nerch married Francis “Frank” Hookey in 1956 and resided in Philadelphia until 1966. The family moved to Delaware in 1966 opening up a new and wonderful chapter in all of our lives. Lifelong friendships developed and neighborhood schools combined to create a fulfilling and happy life. Joan and Frank were married for 52 years until Frank passed away in 2008.

Joan worked at DuPont for 18 years as executive secretary from 1971 to 1989 earning the respect and admiration of her colleagues for her hard work and diligence. Joan loved to read and it was her most passionate hobby. She read 2-3 non-fiction books per week.

Devoted to her children and grandchildren, Joan was happiest during family gatherings as laughter and love filled the house. She also loved taking care of our dog Mickey and traveling to California to visit her son Steve and his family. Joan enjoyed going to movies, especially action movies. She would dance around the living room and do an Irish jig just for fun. She also enjoyed the Jersey shore, loved to go shopping, and liked to watch comedies on television.

She was predeceased by her husband Frank; her mother and father, Katherine and Matthew Nerch; and her brothers, Neil, Patrick and William O’Connor.

Joan is survived by her children, Steve, Larry and Susan; five grandchildren, Avery, Evan, Lauren, Shannon and Melissa; brother Bob Nerch; and sisters, Carol Thorne, Jackie Dearie and Kathy Scott. She was also blessed with many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Eden Autism Foundation, 2 Merwick Road, Princeton, NJ 08540 in memory of Joan Hookey.

Funeral Services

Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11am on Thursday July 12, 2018 at Church of the Holy Child, 2500 Naamans Road, Wilmington DE where visitation begins at 10am. Interment will follow at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, DE.


    Ginny Hallinan Smith lit a candle and writes,
    I am so sorry for ur Loss. Aunt Joan and my mom (Virginia) were lifelong Girlfriends and kept in touch their whole lives. Those kind of friendships are priceless, she we be missed dearly.
    07/12/2018 10:09 am

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

When you "Light a Candle" the candle image is posted with your condolence.