Joanne Barnett (Russis) passed away on Thursday, August 3, 2023 after fighting very hard to try to beat the many health complications she faced over the past couple of years.
She was born on February 2, 1944 in Woburn, MA and attended Woburn public schools graduating from Woburn High School in 1961. After marrying her soulmate Richard Barnett in 1965 she moved to Westford, MA where she resided until her passing.
Joanne was a hard worker and had many jobs. She worked her way up from a teenage book keeper/secretary to serving 18 years on Rep. Geoffrey Hall’s staff at the Massachusetts State House, beginning as a legislative aide and rising to Chief of Staff by the time of her retirement in 2009. She enjoyed helping many people in her community.
She also loved fashion and interior design. She helped design and build her Cape Cod dream home with her daughter Stacey, decorating it as if it came straight out of a magazine.
Joanne was her happiest spending her time with her husband “Dick”, her children and her loving grandchildren, whether on the beach at her second home on Cape Cod, playing board games, attending events, listening to music, dancing or just spoiling the grandchildren with many thoughtful gifts. Joanne loved being a grandma and celebrating holidays with her family. She was an amazing cook and is known for many dishes, especially her special secret spaghetti sauce that she cooked all day. She will be deeply missed by all.
She is survived by her loving husband Richard Barnett, devoted daughter Stacey and her husband Chris Kurhajetz of Lowell, MA, adored grandchildren Nile and Leah, brother Joseph Russis of Dennis, MA and sister-in-law Patricia Preston (Barnett) of Fairhope, AL. She is also survived by many other family members and close friends. She was preceded in death by her beloved son Robert “Bobby” Barnett and her parents, Joseph and Antoinette Russis.
Relatives and friends are invited to Joanne's visitation, August 12, 2023 at 10 AM followed by a funeral mass at 11 AM, both at St Mary’s Church 25 North Rd Chelmsford, MA. Burial will take place following the Mass at Pine Grove Cemetery 68 Forge Village Rd, Westford, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joanne's memory to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114-2699.