Cover photo for Joan E. Minich's Obituary
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1932 Joan 2024

Joan E. Minich

May 8, 1932 — May 19, 2024

Leominster, MA

Mrs. Joan Elizabeth (Given) Minich, 92, of Leominster, passed away peacefully at Apple Valley Center in Ayer, Massachusetts on May 19, 2024, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on May 8, 1932, in Bangor, Maine., the daughter of the late D. Franklin and
Antoinette C. (Leavitt) Given.

At the age of 3 she moved to Old Town, Maine where she spent her school years. She graduated from Old Town High School in 1950 and attended the University of Maine in Orono. She later moved to Fort Fairfield where she met her soul mate, her husband Donald J. Minich who was stationed with the United States Air Force at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine. The couple was married on June 2, 1956. Mrs. Minich was employed for several years as a dental assistant prior to leaving the work force to become a full-time homemaker. They moved to Leominster, Massachusetts in 1969 when Mr. Minich accepted a position with the General Electric Co. in Fitchburg.

Mrs. Minich was an accomplished pianist, having studied for 8 years as a young person, and later as an adult she pursued her studies for several more years. An avid reader, books were her constant companions throughout her life. She founded a book club which met monthly for 12 years. She also enjoyed home decorating, writing poetry, and time spent with her husband on the Maine coast. Her love of the ocean began with childhood vacations in Bar Harbor and the lure of the seacoast remained with her always. An animal lover, she was especially fond of cats and enjoyed her feline pets all during her life. She was an ardent follower of the New England Patriots football team.

Most of all she loved her family, and her happiest moments were family gatherings where fun and laughter prevailed. She adored her grandchildren and spent countless hours in their company. Mrs. Minich continually showed her family unconditional love. People loved her smile and her wonderful ability to make them laugh. A woman of genuine character, everyone felt special in her presence and her absence will leave an incredible void.

Mrs. Minich is survived by her beloved husband of 68 years, Donald James Minich, her three daughters and sons-in-law, Jan and Thomas Connelly of Marshfield, Kimberly Brough of Fitchburg, Jill and Robert Starr of Fitchburg, former son-in-law Mark Brough of Merrimack, New Hampshire, her five grandchildren, Matthew Brough and his wife Julia Palmer of Gardner, Kylie O’Donnell and her husband Michael of Merrimack, New Hampshire, Kassandra Starr of Davenport, Florida, Adam and Jessica Starr of Fitchburg, and 2 step grandchildren, Thomas Connelly of Whitman, and Angeline Connelly of Abingdon, Virginia, and great grandson Nicholas Palmer Brough, great granddaughter Wilhelmina Palmer Brough and a great granddaughter due in August. She is also survived by her stepsister Christine Gallagher of Fort Fairfield, Maine and by several cousins.

She was predeceased by her parents, as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Minich has requested donations be made to St. Jude’s Hospital for Children and MSPCA for animals.

Visitation will be held on Monday, May 27, 2024, at 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the Brandon Funeral Home, located at 305 Wanoosnoc Road, Fitchburg, Massachusetts. A mass will be held in Joan's honor on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at 11:00 am at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, located at 1400 Main Street, Leominster, Massachusetts. This will be followed by a burial service at 12:30 pm at St Bernard's Cemetery, located at 96 Goodrich Street, Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Arrangements are under the care of Brandon Funeral Home.
Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, Melissa A. McQuaid, Funeral Directors.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan E. Minich, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, May 27, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Our Lady of the Lake Church

1400 Main St, Leominster, MA 01453

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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