Cover photo for Joan F. (Shaughnessy) Cowie's Obituary
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1931 Joan Cowie 2023

Joan F. (Shaughnessy) Cowie

June 9, 1931 — August 25, 2023


Mrs. Joan F. (Shaughnessy) Cowie of Waltham passed away peacefully Friday August 25, 2023, in Meadow Green Nursing Home with her family at her side, at the age of 92. 

Joan was born in Newton on June 9, 1931, a daughter of the late John and Helen (Malloy) Shaughnessy. She was raised and educated in Waltham and a proud graduate of Saint Charles High School. 

Following a chance meeting on a city bus, she met and eventually married the love of her life Robert J. Cowie on July 29, 1951, celebrating 72 years of marriage this past July.  Their union was an example for all of us of enduring love, friendship, respect and faithfulness.

Joan’s true love was her family and her traditional “Monday Night Roast Beef Dinners.”  They were the highlight of her week for over 40 years, she made sure there was always enough food and smiles to go around, and with her constantly growing family, the familiar corner highchair was never put away.  

Joan will be remembered for her quick wit, sense of humor, her famous grill cheese sandwiches lovingly made for all, and of course, endless cups of tea. 

She was the adored family matriarch, a true leader, and the best big sister.  She had a gift of finding the good in everyone, never judgmental, and gave of her time willingly whenever it was needed, always putting her family before herself.  Her honest words of encouragement and advice came from the heart and will be forever cherished.

In addition to her parents, Joan is reunited with her brothers, the late Donald Shaughnessy and Richard Shaughnessy, and her beloved grandson, Brian Sandlin. 

She leaves her loving and devoted husband, Robert J. Cowie; her five daughters, Kathleen A. Nelson (late Walter), of Waltham, Jean M.  Moroso of Marlboro, Ellen R. Cowie of Waltham, Laura J. Bourgeois (Ted) of Middletown, Rhode Island, and Roberta J. Sandlin (Brian) of Falmouth; her sixteen grandchildren, Colleen Wallace (Jeff), Robert Lyons (Sarah), Kevin Lyons (Jennifer), Melissa Theroux (Matthew), Matthew Moroso (Taylor), Nicole Nadeau (Jeremy), Regina Rivard (Mark), Amy Lyons, Jaclyn Onofaro, Kelly Johnson (Adam), Paul Bourgeois (Katie), Stephanie Bourgeois (Justin), Elizabeth Mendicina, (Jon), Christopher Sandlin, Sean Sandlin and the late Brian Sandlin; her siblings, Ann Chicco (Guy) of Waltham, Maryellen Jasinski (Tim) of Norwood, Thomas Shaughnessy (Joanne) of Billerica, Jack Shaughnessy (late Marie) of Waltham.  She was also the great grandmother to twenty-five, and leaves many nieces, nephews, and their families.

Family and friends will honor and remember Joan’s life by gathering for calling hours in the Joyce funeral home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham, on Wednesday, August 30th from 4 to 8 p.m. and again Thursday morning at 9 a.m. before leaving in procession to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 880 Trapelo Road, Waltham where her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m.  Burial will follow in Mount Feake Cemetery, Waltham. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, Massachusetts 02452 or by visiting




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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, August 31, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church

880 Trapelo Rd, Waltham, MA 02452

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Thursday, August 31, 2023

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