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Joanne T. Thorn (Riley)

Joanne Theresa Thorn (nee Riley) of Newtown, PA passed away surrounded by her children on April 7, 2021 at the age of 78.  Born in Philadelphia, PA, Joanne was the eldest daughter of the late James and Josephine (Suter) Riley.

Joanne grew up in northeast Philadelphia attending St. Matthew’s School and St. Basil’s Academy. She had wonderful memories of growing up in a family of 9 children and especially of their summers together on the family farm with the extended Riley clan. 

Joanne raised her own family, along with her husband William Thorn III, in Richboro, PA.  While she worked outside the home for many years, her focus and passion were her children. Joanne pursued her own degree at night while working, but it was her true dream that her children attend college and graduate school.  She worked tirelessly to give them this opportunity and proudly celebrated their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Phoenix, Saint Joseph’s University and Yale University.

Joanne loved spending time at the beach. She also enjoyed boat rides, sewing, and attending the symphony and theater.  She was well-traveled and took many memorable trips with friends and family to Europe.  In her later years, Joanne loved her senior exercise class, card nights with friends, heading out for a meal with friends or family, chatting on the phone, and attending church at St. Andrews in Newtown.  She even mastered FaceTime and Zoom (mostly!) to stay connected to her kids and grandkids. She cherished her role as grandmother and was always there to help take care of her grandchildren, celebrate their accomplishments, and attend their many activities.

Those that know and love Joanne, know the persistent health challenges she faced and managed over the past 20 years with incredible strength.  She was fiercely independent and a strong advocate for her own health.  Her medical team describe her as a role model in terms of how she managed her conditions and persevered in the face of great obstacles.  She even dragged oxygen tank around Germany like it was a piece of cake!

Joanne was preceded in death by her eldest brother Timothy and her loving parents.  Joanne is survived by her children William Thorn IV (Susi), Jennifer Thorn Yuncza (John), Jonathan Thorn (Nikki) and JoEllen Thorn Ficarro (Tom), her 12 beloved grandchildren (Jessica, Sophie, Garrett, Avery, Elliot, Jackson, Claire, Lily, Phoebe, Tyler, Cody & Jessi), her beloved siblings (Dee Boyle, Kate Maag, Jane Schumacher, Jack Riley, Gerry Riley, Tom Riley, Dennis Riley), and her many incredible, caring nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

Joanne will be deeply missed and always remembered for her strength, faith, caring for others, and of course her beautiful smile.

Relatives and friends are invited to greet her family on Saturday, April 17, from 10:00 a.m. until her Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m., at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 81 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA. Interment will be at Our Lady of Grace Cemetery in Langhorne.  Luncheon will follow.  Covid precautions will be in place.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Joanne’s name to benefit the Penn Harron Lung Center (

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Service/Memorial Information
  • Visitation

    Saturday, April 17th, 2021
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    St. Andrew Catholic Church
    81 Swamp Road
    Newtown, PA 18940

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Saturday, April 17th, 2021
    11:00 AM

    St. Andrew Catholic Church
    81 Swamp Road
    Newtown, PA 18940

  • Commital

    Saturday, April 17th, 2021

    Our Lady of Grace Cemetery
    1215 Old Lincoln Highway
    Langhorne, PA 19047

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