Joan L (Leake) Mandella

October 7, 1929 ~ February 5, 2021 (age 91)


Joan L. Mandella, 91 of Lavallette, NJ passed away peacefully on Friday, February 5, 2021. Joan was born on October 7, 1929 in Flushing, NY.

Joan is predeceased by her parents, Warren Leake and Olympia Bona Leake and sister, Carol Bacon.

Joan is also predeceased by her loving husband of over 50 years, Nicholas J. Mandella Sr. and survived by her sons Nicholas and his wife Pamela of Lavallette, NJ; Stephen and his wife Margaret of Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ; James and his wife Suzanne of New Fairfield, CT and grandchildren, Jacqueline, Kelly Rose, Olivia, and Giavanna; Joan is also survived by her beloved husband’s daughter, Veronica Read (nee Kelleher) of Long Island, NY who became like a daughter to Joan, her nephew Jeremy Bacon, niece Gina Frary, and countless extended family and friends.

Joan received her associate degree from Keystone College, where she developed many lifelong friendships and maintained these relationships through regular reunions. Later, Joan held an administrative assistant position at the airlines, which is where she and Nicholas met and fell in love. Together they raised their family in Hempstead, Long Island. They were fortunate to live nearby family and extended family, which created many wonderful memories with the Mandellas, Cavolas, Genalos, Villanos, Kellehers and Volavseks - to name a few. They welcomed countless friends and family for dinners and get togethers. Joan retuned to work at Nassau County School System of New York when her sons became older. Nicholas’s work at the airlines allowed the family to benefit from many travels around the world, therefore instilling a passion and tradition for travel that her sons and their families have enjoyed in their own lives.

In 1998, Joan and Nicholas retired to Lavallette, NJ. After enjoying many summers there since 1939, they decided to build a new home there. During their time in Lavallette, they were members of the Italian American Club of Seaside Park, NJ and parishioners of St Pio of the Pietrelcina in Lavallette, NJ. The friends they made on New Jersey Avenue in Lavallette became a second family to Joan and Nicholas and provided a great source of love and support in Joan’s later years. One of Joan’s favorite things to do was cook, and she was terrific at it. Her signature pot roast and noodles became religiously requested by her sons for their birthday meals and has now become a staple. Her other specialties include dumpling soup, sour cream coffee cake and homemade ravioli, which have been passed on and cherished by those lucky enough to enjoy it, though never quite as good as when Joan made it herself. She was also an avid reader and especially liked biographies. Her love and skill of knitting produced many American Girl outfits and Harry Potter scarves throughout the years. Of course, the most important and cherished aspects of Joan’s legacy are the intangible ones. She was the most kind, caring, and non-judgmental lady who welcomed those around her with open arms and had the gift of making those around her feel immediately comfortable. Family and friends recount many stories of the parties and dinners she hosted as she welcomed all into her home. Joan will be greatly missed by all who were blessed to know and love her.

A mass will be held for Joan at St Pio of the Pietrelcina in Lavallette, NJ, On February 20th 2021 at 11:00. A burial for Joan and Nicholas will be held on their wedding Anniversary October 15th, 2021 at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veteran’s Memorial cemetery.

Donations may be made in Joan’s name to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting:

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan L (Leake) Mandella, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Mass
February 20, 2021

11:00 AM
St Pio of Pietrelcina RC Church (Washington Ave, Lavallette)

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