Ocean Beach 01

Joan Kirby-Rockelli

July 15, 1933 ~ August 17, 2021 (age 88)


Joan Kirby-Rockelli (age 88), of North Myrtle Beach, SC, beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, passed peacefully at home surrounded by her family on August 17, 2021.  She was born on July 15, 1933, in Joliet, IL to the late Mike and Ruby Dravis and moved to Camp Springs, MD.  She is preceded in death by Roy F. Kirby, Jr., husband; Gerald R. Rockelli, husband, and Roy M. Swanson, grandson.  She is survived by her six loving daughters, Barbara Johnson of North Myrtle Beach, SC, Debra Caldwell (husband, Bob) of Mechanicsville, MD, Cindy Carroll (husband, John) of Waldorf, MD, Allison LaPlume (husband, George Carroll) of Rock Point, MD, Ellen Burch (husband, Bill) of Waldorf, MD, and Karen Yenchak (husband, John) of Wyoming, PA.  Her 10 grandchildren – Donna Swanson, Leslie Costello, Stephanie Peterson, Scott Carroll, Danny LaPlume, John LaPlume, Sarah Kirby, Kirby Burch, Johnny Yenchak, Eric Yenchak, and 21 great grandchildren.  One nephew, Kirby Cave, Clinton, MD, several nieces, stepchildren, and step grandchildren.

Once upon a time, everything was perfect: we were hanging out, fooling around, eating out, and laughing along to the silliest jokes; there was always something fun to do with the person you love. For all the days, months, and years spent together, you begin to realize that this is exactly how life should be. But as days turn to nights, everything is bound to come to an end. Sadly, we lost our Mom, Grandma and GiGi. 

She married Roy Kirby in June 1950.  Together they raised six daughters in Camp Springs, Maryland.  Joan had a very successful career as a Financial Manager for the United States Department of Education in Washington, DC.  Joan retired in 1986 after 30 years of Federal Service.  While in Maryland, Joan was an active member in the Eastern Star, Job’s Daughters (Guardian), Lioness Club and the Lady Shriners.  Joan and Roy enjoyed travelling, family events and all Shriner events (on the back of the Harley Davidson Hog). 

Upon relocating to North Myrtle Beach, SC in 1989, Joan became widowed in 1991.  She stayed active in the Garden Club and other North Myrtle Beach activities.  She was an avid Washington Redskins fan, who was upset if the Carolina Panthers were on the schedule in lieu of the Skins games, shame on you NFL!  She loved her PGA Golf too, she knew all the players!  She loved going to her art classes and became a great painter (her painting were always in great demand with her family).  She was also active in her bowling league with her friends.  She also enjoyed travelling with her friends (Rose and Edna) and her dinner club friends. In 1997, she reconnected and eventually married one of her Eastern High School (Washington, DC) friends, Gerald Rockelli.  She and Gerry also loved to travel and take in the NMB life together. 

She will always be remembered for her door always being open to family and friends.  Memories of fantastic parties that were held on her back porch while constantly reminiscing about the days of yore and all the great beach party memories.  Mom always sang a song from her childhood that would bring tears of laughter and google searches to be sure she wasn’t making it up!  She became Grandma to all who met her through her life.  Our life with Mom was full and we will always carry beautiful memories of her life and we will always cherish those.

A memorial service and interment will be held at the North Myrtle Beach Memorial Gardens Chapel on October 16 from 1-3pm.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Crescent Hospice, Conway, SC at www.hospicesc.com

Funeral services were provided by McMillan-Small, in Myrtle Beach, SC.


Celebration of Life
October 16, 2021

1:00 PM
North Myrtle Beach Memorial Gardens
65 East Hwy 90
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29566

© 2022 McMillan-Small Funeral Home & Crematory. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility