Joan M. Azzarelli 1923 - 2021

Joan Marie (Mead) Merritt Azzarelli, age 97, passed away April 25, 2021, at Hillside Manor in McMinnville, Oregon. Joan (“Jo” to many) was a fourth-generation Oregonian. She was born July 9, 1923, in McMinnville to Pierre Dubois Mead and Zonweiss Arnola Rogers Mead. Joan was the widow of Joseph J. Azzarelli.
Joan grew up in McMinnville and earned her B.S. in Pharmacy from Oregon State College (now University) in 1947. Following marriage and divorce, she raised her children in Portland and McMinnville while working in education. She met Joseph while employed at Portland State College, and they were married on May 29, 1964. They lived in New York City for 18 years, where he was professor and assistant dean of education at New York University, and she, among many other activities, received a master's degree from NYU, was employed by H&R Block as a tax consultant, and worked for the state of New York at the World Trade Center. Joan and Joe retired to McMinnville in 1982. Joan was a member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and joined in a number of community and charitable activities. She was especially noted for her artistic and craft talents, especially calligraphy.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph; her parents, Pierre and Zon; her brother, Pierre Dubois Mead Jr.; her nephew, Thomas Mead; and her former spouse, James Caldwell Merritt.
Joan leaves many friends and relatives who will miss her, including her children, Carol Walton of Peachtree City, Georgia, and James Douglas Merritt of Bearsville, New York; grandchildren, Alicia Jago of Bristol, England, Nora Meier of Peachtree City, and Nina and Emily Merritt of Bearsville; and great-grandchildren, Ellie, Rebecca, Caleb, Juliet and Logan. She also leaves nieces, Mary Mead and Melissa Mead of Portland, and Lucy Mead of Eugene; nephew, Peter Mead of Eugene; and grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews. The Mead nieces and nephew have been especially helpful and attentive to their Aunt Jo over the many years she lived in McMinnville, for which her children living farther away are very grateful.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 5,  at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. To leave condolences, visit


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