Joann Policastro Ruane passed away on May 2, 2023, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville with her loving family by her side. Born in Manhattan, New York, Joann had been living in Rabun County for the past 27 years.
Joann was born in Manhattan, New York. She lived in Brooklyn and worked for Merrill Lynch and Dean Witter as a cashier. After moving to New Jersey, Joann and her best friend Tommie Wardell found themselves working together in many different jobs: managing offices, manning hot dog carts, and making hats. Joann worked for many years as an assistant manager at her brother’s pet shop Matawan Aquarium in New Jersey.
What started as a leaf-peeping trip with Tommie through the Great Smoky Mountains led to a permanent residency for Joann, who fell in love with the mountains and Rabun County. But while you can take the girl out of Brooklyn, you can’t take the Brooklyn out of this girl. She quickly opened a café in Clayton and named it “Joann’s” because she always wanted to see her name in lights. Her patrons who remember her quick wit and her NY accent could always see Joann cooking, washing dishes, and serving, while Tommie would work the register. After the café, Joann opened a bridal dress shop, and she enjoyed managing tables at the flea market. In the last few years of her working life, she worked at Ingles in Clayton, greeting customers with a smile.
Daughter of the late James and Hedwig (Pevec) Policastro, she is preceded in death by her loving husband Robert Joseph Ruane, and one brother Frank Policastro, Sr. She is survived by one niece, Donna (Rob) Policastro Sandt of New Jersey, two nephews Frank Policastro, Jr. of New Jersey, and James (Lisa) Policastro of New Jersey, five great-nieces Allison, Carolyn, Madeleine, Lilè, and Nola. She will also be missed dearly by her friend Sharon Kubat.
Joann is being cremated and will be buried in New Jersey next to her loving husband Robert Joseph Ruane.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the Rabun County Paws4Life animal shelter.
Beck Funeral Home in Clayton, Georgia, is honored to serve the family of Joann Ruane. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at www.beckfuneralhome.com.
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