Cover photo for Joan Ruth Alfarone's Obituary
Joan Ruth Alfarone Profile Photo
1944 Joan Ruth Alfarone 2024

Joan Ruth Alfarone

April 6, 1944 — June 8, 2024


Joan Ruth Lewin Alfarone left this earth for a kinder, gentler place on June 8, 2024, at the age of 80. Joan was resilient, stubborn, and strong, as you might expect a woman originally from the Bronx to be. She valiantly battled a variety of health issues for close to half her life, any one of which could have taken her. Yet, she persisted. Joan enjoyed being married for 61 years to her devoted husband, and love of her life, Richard, who cared for her selflessly.

Joan and Richard’s love story embodies commitment and caring. At different points in their lives, each one faced a devastating and deadly diagnosis. They dedicated their lives to caring for each other. A union like this is rare. The two married on December 8, 1962, in Queens, New York.

In addition to Richard, Joan loved music, dogs, coffee, cookies, and cigarettes. She also loved her son, Kenneth, and her daughter, Debra. In her younger years, Joan loved to “dress to the nines” and dance at weddings and discos. Whitney Houston was her favorite singer. She would crank up “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” or “I Will Always Love You” while cruising along in her Mustang through the streets of Long Island, New York, where Joan and Richard raised their family.

Another fave was Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard for the Money.” And Joan did. She worked at a stationary store, sold clothes out of the trunk of her Cadillac, and later welcomed customers at GEICO as a phone operator. Speaking of money, she was known to hide cash in various places around her house, later forgetting where she stashed it, leading to a wonderful surprise, sometimes years later. Despite her financial acuity, the woman never paid for a packet of Sweet’N Low in her life.

Joan never met a dog she didn’t like. From Skippy to Gigi to Maxwell (named after her favorite brand of coffee) to Sandy to Shelby to Cookie, she enjoyed the company of a furry companion while watching TV.

The habit of smoking is not usually something to be celebrated. But, Joan managed to turn it into a thing of beauty. Taking her smoke breaks outside while working at GEICO, she noted the lack of a pleasing view. Joan decided to buy and plant flowers near the break area, creating a smoking garden, maybe the first of its kind.

Upon retirement, Joan and Richard moved to Randleman, North Carolina, where they built their dream home. They enjoyed the peace, serenity, and nature of the Tar Heel State. These two New Yorkers may not have “blended” (ever see the movie, “My Cousin Vinny?”) at first glance, but they quickly created a little village.

Joan was popular, had lots of friends, and stood out in the crowd due to her large, welcoming smile, easy laugh, passion for bling, studs, and sequins, zest for life, and disarming ability to say just about anything to just about anyone.

Joan is survived by her husband, Richard, her children, Kenneth and Debra, and her sister Melinda Mallon.

To commemorate Joan’s fortitude and strength, a viewing will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2024, from 2 pm to 5 pm at Pugh Funeral Home at 600 S. Main Street in Randleman, NC. A memorial service will be held in her honor the next day, Friday, June 14, 2024, at 11 am at Randolph Memorial Park Cemetery at 4538 US Highway 220 Bus N, Asheboro, NC. We invite all who knew her to join us in remembering a truly remarkable woman.

In lieu of flowers, please consider adopting a dog or simply enjoying a good cup of coffee and a dance to a Whitney Houston song in her honor.

Joan Alfarone, you lived life on your terms, and we wouldn't have had it any other way. Rest easy, surrounded by the scent of coffee, the whisper of smoke, the rhythm of dance, and the love of countless four-legged friends.

Pugh Funeral is serving the Alfarone family. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Ruth Alfarone, please visit our flower store.


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