January 26, 1952 - May 22, 2020
DeLena, ESQ. Joan (Schloss) of Melrose formerly of Chicago, IL and Charlestown, MA passed away on May 22, 2020 at the age of 68 after a short illness related to complications after two courageous battles with breast cancer years before. Born in Chicago, IL on January 26, 1952 to the late Harold and Phyllis (Boffey) Schloss. Beloved wife of 28 years to Robert K. DeLena. Adored step mother of Robert C. DeLena and his wife Mary Beth of Sudbury and their two children Ryan and Abigail. Dear sister of Marianne Zelewsky and her late husband of 50 years Ted, and the late Gretchen Dingee and her surviving husband John. Cherished aunt of Harold “Hal”, Jen, Emma, Mary, Phillip, and John. Also survived by many loving great nieces and nephews and countless friends. Joan had a wonderful childhood and close relationship with her family. Her father Harold was loved and admired by all. Joan’s mother, Phyllis was a woman of strong character and elegance. Though there was a significant difference in age between Marianne and Gretchen on one end and Joan on the other, the three sisters were very close. Joan moved to Boston to attend Boston University and later received her law degree from Suffolk Law. She went on to become the General Counsel for the Massachusetts’ Teacher Retirement Board and was then appointed Executive Director for the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System in 2003. Although she worked in public service for over 30 years and was a tireless advocate, her life away from the office afforded her the most joy. Her marriage to Bob was deeply devoted and days were filled with laughter, great friends and food, and competitive board games. She was a passionate supporter of the arts and local business, and was a favorite to many shops and galleries on the North Shore. She was also a lover of animals, especially horses and her beloved Wheaton Terrier, Lucy. She remained a committed advocate for animals and nature, and demonstrated incredible generosity to causes related to the protection of the environment. In accordance with the CDC’s current restrictions on gatherings due to Covid-19, a celebration of Joan’s life will be held at a later date. Private Interment. In lieu of flowers donations in Joan’s name can be made to the MSPCA Angel, 350 S. Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130.