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JoAnn Marie Gubanic

JoAnn Gubanic

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JoAnn Marie Gubanic, 80, of Harrisburg, formally Espyville and Port Vue, PA, went home to be with our Lord and Savior on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, in her home next to her family.

JoAnn was born on March 29, 1942, in McKeesport, PA the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary Jane Opatrny. She was a 1960 graduate of McKeesport Senior High School before attending business school.

She worked for Port Vue Borough, as a secretary for 48 years. JoAnn dedicated most of her life to serving local government and she always did it with a smile on her face and a willingness to help in any way that she could. “No” was never in her vocabulary.  JoAnn was a devoted Catholic and a member of the former Saint Martin dePorres Parish in McKeesport and Saint Philip Church in Linesville.

JoAnn belonged to Post 447 Ladies Auxiliary and Holy Trinity Church Christian Mothers.  She was a member of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, Pymatuning Sportsman’s Club, Fun to Be a Kid Day Committee, and served as a notary public for many years.

JoAnn is survived by her husband Robert J. Gubanic of 54 years, her daughter: Meri Beth (Lawrence) Furlong, Harrisburg, PA, her grandchildren: Savannah J. Furlong, Liam P. Furlong, her brother: Edward (Hannah) Opatrny, sister-in-law Betty Ann Valenta (“Favorite” Brother-in-Law Edward “JR” Valenta), a nephew: Edward Valenta, her nieces: Noreen Cortazzo, Christina Achey, Sarah Murrin, great nephews: Frank, Nicholas, and Cash Cortazzo whom she also served as his Godmother, Nehemiah Murrin, great nieces: Amy, Danielle, and Gabrielle Achey, Isabella and Violet Murrin, great-great nephews: Frankie, Nico, Luca, Rocco, and Matteo Cortazzo, and great-great niece: Angelina Cortazzo. JoAnn was also the Godmother of Theodore Dworek.

JoAnn loved spending time with her family and friends! She enjoyed visiting her camp in Sigel, PA. She was especially delighted in fishing on Pymatuning lake, even if she didn’t catch anything! She loved to spend time outdoors whether it was gardening or feeding the animals she saw. She and her grandson Liam never missed a mealtime for the deer. JoAnn always had a pot of soup cooking no matter the weather. Over the years, she enjoyed spending time with her best friends Lisa Ruffing, Mary “Dew” Briggs, Patti Letchford, and Brenda Volpe visiting flea markets and shopping. She was an avid Steelers and Penguins fan and was always wearing black and gold glam. She would often give an encouraging piece of advice or a witty remark whether you were ready or not. Grandchildren were her pride and joy. To Savannah and Liam, she would give “goosies” for as long as they asked or until they fell asleep. Miss Savannah and Mister Liam will miss their Meme lots. JoAnn was a beautiful soul who was humorous and sassy and always saw the best in everyone. She will be forever loved and missed.

JoAnn would not want us to mourn for her. In her own words, she would say, “This too shall pass.”

A visitation will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022 from 3:00pm-5:00pm at Sullivan Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. at 51 North Enola Drive, Enola, PA 17025. The scripture service will begin promptly at 5:00pm with Fr. Sam Houser presiding. 

A reception will be held at her daughter, Meri Beth’s home following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made out to Westminster College Marching Band or Boy Scout Troop 10, Harrisburg PA.

The Sullivan Funeral Home is honored to serve the Furlong, Gubanic, and Opatrny families.

4 comments on “JoAnn Marie Gubanic”

  1. We remember JoAnn working at the Port vue borough building over the years. She was always pleasant and kind.

  2. Joanne:

    You’re in my final 4 in the bracket of people I’ve met since I’ve been working. Rest In Peace Golden Girl


  3. I ran a March Madness poll for years and Meri Beth and Joanne were always excited to enter each year. Using the March madness analogy, Joanne makes my final 4 of best people I’ve met since working in McKeesport.

    My condolences to Meri Beth and her family. Be strong and never forget!!!

  4. Her sharing of her great work ethic and her showing her dedication to each and every resident of Port Vue. It was a great honor to work for her, to be in grade school with her mom , and babysitter and friend of her beautiful daughter. I have three generations of memories that I will always hold dear

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