May 27, 1948 ~ October 25, 2021

Born in: New Haven, CT
Resided in: Hamden, CT

JoAnne Carol Lombra Grande, 73, of Hamden, passed away suddenly and peacefully on October 25, 2021. She was born at St. Raphael’s Hospital on May 27, 1948 to Elsie E. Pia Lombra and the late Eugene L. Lombra. JoAnne is survived by her loving mother Elsie Lombra, her cherished brother Raymond Lombra (Roberta) and family, and her devoted husband of 46 years, George Grande. JoAnne is also survived by her son Geoffrey Grande, daughter Jaime McAllister-Grande, and grandchildren Eli Grande, Noelle McAllister-Grande, Cleo McAllister-Grande and Eve McAllister-Grande.
A lifelong resident of Hamden, JoAnne attended Hamden Public Schools and received her bachelor and graduate degrees from Southern Connecticut State University. She taught in the Hamden Public School system for 35 years before retiring, and cherished the students who helped make her job a joy. More than anything, “GrandmaBella” enjoyed the company of family and friends. She looked forward to gatherings, especially with her grandchildren in Hamden and in Westerly, Rhode Island. The day before her passing she remarked how lucky she was to have the family and friends she had in her life. To all of them, we say thank you-and play a Neil Diamond song in her honor this week!
Friends are invited to attend her Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, October 28th at 10:00 a.m. in Christ the Bread of Life Parish-Church of the Ascension, 1050 Dunbar Hill Rd., Hamden. Per JoAnne’s wishes, there will be no calling hours, please meet directly at church. Burial will be private. If so desired, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to a charity of your choice. Arrangements are in care of Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden.


Mass of Christian Burial: October 28, 2021 10:00 am

Church of the Ascension
1040 Dunbar Hill Road
Hamden, CT 06514


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  1. George, so sorry to read this news. My good wishes to you during this sad time. I know how devoted you were to each other. Marty

  2. George and Family,

    The suddenness of JoAnne’s death creates and extra layer of sadness for everyone. Maybeth and I send our heartfelt wishes to you, George, and to your entire family.

    Bob Wirz

  3. So very sorry for your loss. Keeping all of the family in my thoughts and prayers, and hoping you are able to derive strength from each other and the many wonderful memories you share.

  4. George,
    Lois and I are deeply saddened and we send our heartfelt condolences. I know you and JoAnne were blessed to have a wonderful life together. Your faith in the Lord and the support system you have from your family and friends will help guide you through this difficult time.

  5. Dear George ….. I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. May your family find comfort during this difficult time.


  6. To the entire Grande and Lombra families, please accept our condolences for the passing of JoAanne. We will keep her memory with us and will pray for her and your families.

    Esther and Vinny DeAngelis

  7. I was so sorry to hear of Joann’s passing. We were in school together in Hamden, graduating from HHS in 1966. Her quote in our yearbook is: “Happiness to she who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.” I would say she certainly achieved that happiness. My condolences to the Lombra/Grande family. May you find comfort in your memories and strength in your faith. May she Rest In Peace …..

  8. Our Deepest Sympathy and Condolences to George & all the Grande Family. May the Lord Bless You During this Most Difficult Time. We have fond memories of JoAnne when she taught our children at Bear Path School, she was a Wonderful person & teacher. REST IN PEACE JOANNE 🙏✝️

    John , Maria DeRosa & Family

  9. Words cannot express how sorry I am to hear about JoAnne’s passing. She was a wonderful person and will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to George, Geoffrey, Jaime and the entire family. My she rest in peace!

  10. George,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. JoAnne will be truly missed by so many who were lucky enough to have known her.

  11. George:
    We were shocked and saddened to hear about JoAnne’s passing. Please know that your Cincinnati Reds TV family is thinking about you during this difficult time. Our deepest sympathies and condolences to you and your entire family.

  12. My deepest sympathy to all of JoAnne’s family during this most difficult time I remember her growing up on Fallon Drive where my children also grew up . Such sad news to hear this.
    May she rest in peace with our Lord.

  13. George,
    Melissa and I are so sad to hear of Joanne’s passing. Please know you and your family are in our prayers. Sending our love.

    Steve and Melissa

  14. George, so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved wife JoAnne. I regret I never had the pleasure of meeting her but am certain she shared the same love and spirit I felt when I had the opportunity to be around you! My deepest condolences. God bless you and the Entire Grande Family!

    “J” Harrison

  15. George, Geoff and Jaime,
    How sorry I am to hear about JoAnne’s passing. I know this must be a difficult time for all of you. I certainly have some wonderful memories of all of you. JoAnne will surely be missed by all. Please know of my prayers for all of you at this time and my wish for you is that “Love be what you remember most!”

  16. Dear George,Geoff, Jaime and family,
    So saddened to hear the news about JoAnne’s passing. My heart is with you all at this very sad time.
    With deepest sympathy and prayers,

  17. George and family, seeing Joanne’s wonderful smile brought back memories of soccer and of seeing the two of you at Ascension right behind the Folk Group, Her passing has left a big hole in your hearts and in those who knew her. Fill it with happy thoughts of her and your precious memories. Thinking of you all.
    Steph and John Gray

  18. George
    I so sorry to hear this terrible news…. She will be in my thoughts and prayers today…
    Condolences to you and the family…

  19. Dear George and family, our deepest condolences for the loss of JoAnne.
    She is in our thoughts and prayers as are you and family.
    Susan Gawrych
    Fran Zabrocky
    Jackie Scarmo

  20. I was shocked to hear the news of Joanne’s passing. I have fond memories of her from high school and her pride in being the wife of George, and the mother of Geoff and Jaime. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers….

  21. We would like to extend our deepest condolences to you and your family and to your mother-in-law, Elsie.
    It was a pleasure to have worked with Joanne at Bear Path School. She always had a positive outlook and a smile on her face. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you in this difficult time.

  22. How blessed were all of us who knew her and George and their special family. You’re all in our prayers.

  23. Dear George, Geoff, and Jaime –

    My deepest sympathies for the loss of JoAnne. Though I never had the good fortune of meeting her, dozens of people have told me that she was a special lady. May God bless her and you, those dearest to her.

    Bill Hartigan

  24. Dear George,. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Rest in peace Joanne. God bless you.

  25. George, your career changed dramatically when we all got together on 9/7/1979. But it was a life changing event when you and JoAnne were married and stayed that way for nearly a half century. God bless you and your family. RIP JoAnne

  26. George and family, My deepest condolences to you for your loss. I remember JoAnne as my children’s Pre-K teacher at Dunbar Hill School and helping them with the loss of their grandmother during that time. She was warm and loving. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    Rosalie (Mingione) DeCrosta

  27. Dear George, Geoff, Jaime and family
    It was with great sadness that we read of Joann’s passing. You were a very special part of all of our lives as the kids grew up together. Joann started our girls with a warm loving pre-k experience. This warmth and love continued through the years with your wonderful family. You were a very special part of our lives. We send our love and condolences to you. Know she will remain in our hearts along with all of you as special friends and people we love. God bless you all.

  28. George: My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved Joann.
    I still hold such fond memories of our youth; you working in radio and television, and myself as a journalist and sports information director. They were wonderful times
    I know that your strength and faith will carry you through these difficult times
    Take care
    Peter Vander Veer

  29. My deepest condolences to you, George, your family and friends on the passing of your beloved wife, JoAnne. May she rest in peace.

  30. George and Family,

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences on JoAnne’s passing. I can tell you from experience that the tears and sadness will someday turn into smiles and warm memories of JoAnne and your lives together. God Bless you all!


    Jim Bango

  31. George, Our condolences on the passing of your beloved wife JoAnn.
    May she rest in peace.
    Bill & Teresa Santillo

  32. I am so very sorry for the loss of JoAnne. She was an inspiring teacher and a special angel to this world. She was also such a caring mentor and friend to my brother, Michael. My family will never forget all she did for him and for all of us. My condolences to all of her family and friends. You will be in my heart and prayers. I know how deeply she will be missed but her presence has made our world a better place so she will live on in all of you. And I’m sure she will continue to inspire and guide many, just from a different classroom.

  33. Dear George and family,
    It is with great sadness we learned of JoAnne’s passing. She will always be known to our family as
    the “best” kindergarten teacher ever. Shepherd Glen was a welcoming place to our 5 yr. olds
    because of Mrs. Grande’s smile. You have our deepest sympathy. Fondly, The Earley Family
    Bill, Claudia, Brian and Jenna

  34. George,
    It is with great sorrow to learn of JoAnne’s passing. My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
    Steve Kesses

  35. Dear George,
    I am very sorry for you and your family’s loss.
    God bless you and the family.

    Lou Verdi

  36. George and family,

    My sincere sympathies on the loss of JoAnne. Although it’s been seven years since I sold Apex Pharmacy, I have fond memories of seeing you and JoAnne in the store and enjoyed our conversations.
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Rick Carbray

  37. George

    I’m so sorry to just read about JoAnne’s passing…. Always a smiling face when bumped into around town. My boys still have vivid memories of her guiding ways and positive encouragement from Dunbar Hill School. I’m sure she impacted many other families throughout her life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Geoff, Jaime and the extended Grande family.

    Danny O’Brien

  38. Dear George & family,

    I am so deeply sorry for your heartbreaking loss. Wishing you all strength & comfort and may JoAnne’s memory be a blessing.

    With thoughts and prayers,
    Stacey Eisenberg

  39. Dear George,

    I just heard the news today about JoAnne’s passing and I am still in shock of this very sad news. I am so sorry for you and your family – and regret that I did not get to attend JoAnne’s services and say a final good-bye to a dear friend. Please know that you and Jeff, Jaime and their families, and Elsie, are in my thoughts and prayers. Fond memories do not take the place of losing someone so dear.
    Love and peace,
    Rose Rita

  40. Dear Mr. Grande,
    I am sorry for your loss. I always talked to you and your wife when you came shopping at
    Stop & Shop in Hamden. She was a nice lady. God bless you.

  41. We are so very sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Amy, Danny and Addison Ben-Kiki

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