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Joanne L. Thomas

October 3, 1957 ~ September 1, 2021 (age 63)

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Of Pitcarin, age 63, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by family on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Beloved companion of Peter McGinty.

Loving mother of Patrick (Stephanie Barth) McGinty and Michael McGinty.

Adored grandmother of Jamison Justin Clarke McGinty.

Also survived by many cousins and dear friends.

Joanne was born and raised in Chicago, where she met the love of her life, Pete, at a YMCA convention.  She attended Steinmetz High School and graduated in 1975.  Joanne was an active member of the Montclair YMCA of Chicago, and was involved in aquatics and teen activities.  Joanne then attended the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana from 1975-1979 and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and worked as an Aquatics Director at the Buehler YMCA of Chicago before starting a her family. 

Joanne moved to the Pittsburgh area with her husband in 1987 and worked at the both the Wilmerding and Sampson YMCA of Pittsburgh, where she served many different roles both part time and full time for over 34 years.

Joanne specialized in aquatics, swimming instruction, supervision and teaching of first aid, CPR, AED, and lifeguard certification classes.  In all serving as a mentor and teaching thousands of children how to swim.  She was a great lover of all water activities and programs and took great pride in helping children overcome their fears of being in the water. 

Joanne continued her education earning a Masters of Education in both Early Intervention from the University of Pittsburgh from 2000 to 2003, and Special Education from Waynesburg University in 2008.

She also worked at Allegheny Intermediate Units Headstart Program as a teacher from 1990 until 2015; the Children’s Institute as an Aquatics Instructor from 2018 until 2020; the School for the Blind from August 2020 until present time; and served as the Aquatics Director at the Wilmerding Community Center from August 2019 until present time. 

Most of all, Joanne loved spending time with her family, especially her grandson, Jamison, and was always proud of the family that she raised.  Joanne will forever be remembered for most defining quality of helping others and giving back to her community.  Her family will miss Joanne’s smile and her drive to provide quality aquatics and aquatic activities here in the eastern area of Pittsburgh.      

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, October 3 at 12 Noon in the Wilmerding Community Center.

Memorial contributions may be made in Joanne’s name to the Wilmerding Community Center, 1 Memorial Field, Wilmerding, PA 15148.

Arrangements by Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home & Crematory; 1111 Monroeville Ave.; Turtle Creek, PA 15145; (412) 823-9350.


Memorial Service
October 3, 2021

12:00 PM
Wilmerding Community Center

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