Joan Catherine Spellman DeSanto, 85, of Texas City passed away on Friday, November 1, 2019.
Joan was born in Bronx, New York on October 9, 1934 to parents Mae Bigley Spellman and Daniel Spellman. She enjoyed many activities growing up including baton twirling, dancing, and especially swimming. As a teenager, she became an accomplished long-distance swimmer, and at the age of 16 was picked to be one of the Precision Swimmers in Billy Rose’s Aquacade. Due to her parent’s strict rules, Joan was denied the chance to be part of the show due to the extensive traveling, but her love of the water would remain a constant in her life.
Shortly after graduating from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic High School in 1952, Joan met the love of her life. The couple were introduced to each other by Joan’s Aunt and her future Mother-in-Law, who worked together at the phone company. When Joan met the handsome Air Force Staff Sargent, she knew he was the one. On September 5, 1953 at St. Frances De Chantel Catholic Church, Joan became the Air Force bride of Joseph “Joe” DeSanto. Once married, they were stationed at Carswell Air Force base in Fort Worth, where they welcomed their first child. Upon the end of Joe’s military service, the couple moved home to New York for a short time where their second child was born. In October 1956, at the encouragement of friends, the couple moved to Texas City in search of a good job and a nice place to raise their growing family - they would stay there for the rest of their 66-year marriage.
Joan was a loving wife and dedicated stay-at-home mother to her 5 children. Once the last child went off to school, Joan pursued what would become a 26-year long career as a Bookkeeper for Triangle and Plaza Drugs. In her early married years, Joan enjoyed attending dances at the Chaparral Club with Joe and was part of the Women’s and Mixed Couple’s Bowling Leagues. Joan and Joe loved to travel, and once retired, they did so as often as they could, including a trip to Italy and all of Joe’s bowling tournaments.
Joan was a devoted Catholic and a parishioner of St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church in Texas City for over 60 years. When her young children attended Fatima Catholic School, she was a school lunch Mom. Joan was also involved in numerous aspects within the Church itself including the Alter Society and most recently as operator of the Religious Articles Store. Joe was her favorite “stock boy” and they worked together in the store for over 25 years. Joan was a member of the KGZT Family Life Organization, as well as a member of the TC-LM Chamber of Commerce Golden Division, where she and Joe participated in many functions.
The quintessential hostess, Joan was known for the countless parties and holiday gatherings she hosted over the years. She always made the best food and had the perfect décor for every event – but most importantly she always had a lot of fun. Joan was well known as a Christmas junkie, and especially enjoyed her annual shopping trips with her daughters and granddaughters. Her famous Santa collection was always the star of her Christmas décor, and Joe was constantly scrambling to find more space to display her tremendous collection.
Joan will be eternally missed by her family and friends. She will always be remembered for her love of life, her devotion to family, and her engaging spirit. Joan is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Joe DeSanto; son, Bobby DeSanto and wife Cindy; daughter, Laura Garza and husband John; daughter, Debbie Ervin and husband DeWayne; son, Joey DeSanto and wife Jane; daughter, Jackie Thompson and husband Bryan; grandson, Robby DeSanto and wife Kelly; granddaughter, Michelle Powers and husband Matt; grandson, Christopher Garza and wife Chelsea; grandchildren, Matthew Garza, Kristi Ervin, Eric Ervin, Kyle Ervin, Joseph DeSanto, Patrick DeSanto, Nicole DeSanto, Ashley Thompson, Shelby Thompson, and Kailey Thompson; and great-grandchildren, Anthony DeSanto, Avery DeSanto, Maverick Powers, Marley Powers, and Marshall Powers.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 with a Rosary Prayer immediately following at St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church, 1604 9th Ave N, Texas City, TX 77590. A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 10:30 a.m., at St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church. Entombment will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 7801 Gulf Fwy, Dickinson, TX 77539.
The pallbearers will be Robby DeSanto, Christopher Garza, Matthew Garza, Eric Ervin, Kyle Ervin, and Joseph DeSanto. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of Joe’s Men’s Club Cooking Team.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church Building Fund.
To send flowers to Joan's family, please visit our floral section.