Joanne M. Sullivan -- Rochester

Joanne Marie (Distad) Sullivan died on Sunday, Aug. 27, at Saint Marys hospital.

She was born June 28, 1928, in Rock Dell to Oscar Distad and Anna Senjem and was the second youngest of 12 children. Joanne graduated from Rochester High School and lived in Rochester most of her life.

She met her future husband, James "Sully" Sullivan, after WWII while working as a car-hop at Benny's R-Tic drive-in in Rochester. They married in 1948 with Joanne deemed "the prettiest girl in town" by Sully. As primarily a stay-at-home mother in her early years of marriage, she raised four boys in northwest Rochester. In the evenings after her boys were settled in bed, she would go to the basement and re-touch photograph film negatives by hand for a local photographer. Ever the artist, Joanne used a lightbox, magnifying glass, sharp blades and pencils to do the type of work done today with Photoshop on digital prints. Joanne also helped at the family business, Powell & Sullivan, over the years with Sully proclaiming her to be "his best salesperson." She ran a successful sandwich and ice cream shop in the old Chateau Theater called Momsie's (what Sully fondly called her). She enjoyed keeping busy but found time for golf, fishing and socializing with friends. In her early seventies, she took up landscape painting. She quickly proved she had a gift and created many wonderful outdoor scenes that hang in her children's and grandchildren's houses today. All paintings were appropriately signed "Momsie".

Joanne is survived by sons, Mike (Kathy), Pat (Suzi) and Scott (Laurie) and daughter-in-law, Jody; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; siblings; daughter, Sharon, and son, Craig.

Joanne and Sully were married for 69 years. She died 15 days after his passing due to what we feel was a broken heart. She was a loving wife, wonderful mother and gentle soul to anyone who knew her. We will miss her greatly!

The Funeral Mass for Joanne will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, with the Rev. Msgr. Gerald A. Mahon officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the Mass. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Rochester.

Macken Funeral Home is handling the arrangements and online condolences are welcome at