Born June 30, 1930 in Dorchester, the daughter of the late Brendan P. Kilbride and Gertrude M. (O’Brien) Kilbride, she graduated from Milton High School and was a member of the first class of women at Boston College, graduating with her degree in nursing in 1951. In 1952 she married John J. Gaudet of Everett, they had six children and settled in Reading. Joan, became a dedicated advocate for social change and the betterment of others. She was involved in a number of community groups including: the Christian Family Movement, organizing Spanish-speaking masses, and housing foreign exchange students from the Experiment in International Living. In addition she was very active in the Civil Rights and Fair Housing movements.
In the late 60s Joan worked to establish the Haley House, a Boston shelter and soup kitchen. A devoted pacifist, Joan supported the antiwar activities, led a successful campaign against the construction of an Anti Ballistic Missiles site and chaired the local effort to nominate Senator Eugene McCarthy for president in 1968. In addition she helped establish Project Trust, the first drug hotline in the area.
Through the 80s and 90s Joan worked a RN at Massachusetts Bay Community College and Middlesex Community College. She participated in Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study, and she served on the Norwood Handicapped Commission to assure handicapped access to public buildings. Later retiring to North Chelmsford, Joan spent much of her time with her passion for art including watercolor painting and candle making.
Joan leaves her one sister, Gertrude Malden of Taunton; her son Daniel and his wife Patricia of Everett; her son Thomas and his wife Martina of Uxbridge; her son Mark and his wife Virginia Mayer of Northampton; her daughter Lisa Corsetti of Tewksbury; her daughter Amy Crockett and her husband Charles of Norwood; and her son Matthew of North Chelmsford. She also leaves fourteen loving grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Visiting hours Thurs. 4 to 8 P.M. Funeral Fri. at 8A.M. from the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 106 MIDDLESEX ST. CHELMSFORD, with a funeral Mass at 9A.M. at St. John the Evangelist Church in Chelmsford. Burial in the Forest Glen Cemetery, Reading. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Haley House Soup Kitchen and Live-in Community, 23 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041. Guestbook at www.dolanfuneralhome.com