Joanne R. Elkanich, 79

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Joanne R. Elkanich, 79, of Garnet Drive, died peacefully at Gosnell Hospice House on Feb. 4, following a courageous battle with cancer. Her family was by her side.

Elkanich was born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 1935, the daughter of Leo J. and Frances Kisiel Yost. She attended local schools and graduated from Duquesne High School in the class of 1953.

She married Edward G. Elkanich on May 12, 1956, at St. Peter & Paul Church in Duquesne. In 1968, the couple moved to South Portland, where they made a home and raised their family.

Joanne later worked as an administrative assistant at UNUM, a position she held for 18 years, retiring in 1999.

A vibrant, kind-hearted and spiritual woman, Elkanich was a longtime communicant of St. John the Evangelist Church in South Portland. There she served as a eucharistic minister, reader, a member of many church committees and an active volunteer. In her spare time, her greatest love was spending time with her family and grandchildren.

Elkanich is survived by her husband of 58 years, Edward Elkanich; daughter, Janine Elkanich, husband Larry and their daughter, Alexis, of Biddeford; daughter, Jackie Tory, husband Jeff and their children, Caden and Taylor, of South Portland; daughter, Annie Sherry, husband George and their daughters, Kilee and Devan, of Gorham; son, Kurt, wife Ann, son Craig and his wife, Becky, of Gray; son, Eric, wife Melissa and their daughters, Katie and Miranda, of Gray; and a brother, Leo, and his wife, Janice Yost, of Pennsylvania.

A Mass of Christian burial was held Tuesday at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, in Scarborough. Burial was to follow in Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.

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