COGELIA, Mary Joan
Mary Joan Cogelia, née Bernard of Duluth, GA, passed away at the age of 87, into the welcoming arms of our Lord Jesus on June 14, 2022. Born in Gallitzin, PA, to Kathryn and Joseph Bernard, she grew up in a very loving, tightly knit family. She adored her three sisters and they remained lifelong best friends. She attended Gallitzin High, where she had the honor of being crowned homecoming queen and serving as head majorette in the marching band. She was a passionate artist, writer and teacher and a fiercely loving mother to the five children that she shared with Nicholas, her devoted husband of 59 years. Joan graduated from St. Francis College with a BA in Elementary School Education and taught in Baltimore and Duluth schools. As a gifted artist, Joan produced many floral and countryside portraits in pencil, chalk (her children's favorite) and watercolor. Her family will be forever grateful for the incredibly intricate photo and genealogy books that she crafted for each of her children. A voracious reader until the end, anyone who knew her can recall seeing her long legs stretched out while she devoured her latest book find. She fought many health battles throughout her life and even in the darkest hours, managed to somehow brilliantly conquer the issue. She made us believe that she could do it again, but this time, the pull towards her mother, father and sisters proved stronger and now it is the angels who are graced with her presence. She was an intuitive, formidable, complex soul, too multifaceted to be condensed into a few words of description. She was the heart and soul of our family. Her warm heart and forgiving presence will be forever cherished and the weight of her loss will be forever felt. She is survived by her husband, Nicholas; her sister, Carolyn; and her children, Joseph, his wife Kim, Jennifer, her husband Ed, Janine, Mark, his wife Tammy and Karen; as well as 2 grandchildren, Sophie and Michael. Funeral and burial services will take place in her hometown. A celebration of her life will be held in Duluth, GA, at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in her name to The Arthritis Foundation, the ASPCA, or the USO. Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.billheadfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are being handled by Bill Head Funeral Homes & Crematory Duluth Chapel (770)476-2535.