Jeanne “Joan” Fournier Rushlow, 91, passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loving family, on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. Joan is the cherished wife of Clifford N. Rushlow.
Joan, born in Lincoln, RI, is the daughter of the late Jean Baptiste Fournier and stepmother, Floria Mailhot Fournier. Her biological mother, Rose Nault Fournier died when Joan was five years old. Joan was also predeceased by her sister, Annette Fournier Tierney, and is survived by their brother, Jean Robert Fournier (Dolores Ryding Fournier).
Joan and Cliff moved to Westerly in 1971 following Cliff’s retirement from the Navy. Soon after, Joan graduated from the New England Business Academy in 1972 and began work with the Red Cross, then later, the Chamber of Commerce on Main Street, Westerly.
In 1986, Joan became the first President of the then Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce. Her colleagues speak of how she boldly grew the membership and performed a wide program of business and community work. They noted her exemplary professional commitment and unwavering leadership strength that is considered, even now, the foundation of today's Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce. She also led efforts to establish the permanent home of the Chamber on Route 1, initiated the Santa’s arrival, and other time honored community traditions, such as serving on the inaugural First Night Committee. Her efforts fostered a positive business environment and numerous life-long friendships.
Joan retired in October 1996 and has since enjoyed celebrating life’s precious moments with her family and friends. Those happy moments include among many, traveling to various states and countries with her grandchildren, playing Scrabble by the pool, “bidding to game” in Bridge with her ladies, finding nature’s beauty at the beach with her husband, studying financial trends, relishing all that her special Town of Westerly has to offer, living her Catholic faith and always...dressing to the nines.
Besides her beloved husband, Joan is survived by her children, Denise R. Oliveira, Elaine R. Finan (Jeffrey Finan), and John N. Rushlow (Deanna Behan Rushlow) and her grandchildren: Morgan, Grace, and Graham Oliveira, Brooke and Cara Finan Smith (Ben Smith), Nicholas, Chase, and Hope Rushlow, and Lee-Ann Rushlow; nieces Christine and Cathy Rushlow (Dunnavant), nephews John Tierney and Timothy Tierney (deceased), Fred Joyal, and countless friends she considered family.
Joan will always be remembered for her exuberant smile, joie de vie, sense of humor, celebratory spirit, and loving nature.
Joan’s funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, February 1, at St. Pius X Church, Westerly, RI, at 11:00 A.M., followed by a receiving line at the church. The interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for the Joan F. Rushlow Memorial Scholarship, payable to the Ocean Community Chamber Foundation. This scholarship will be awarded to a Westerly High School graduating senior interested in pursuing a career in Finance or Fashion.
Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St. Westerly is assisting the family with arrangements.
For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com
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