She was the devoted wife of Joseph M. Brito Sr., and a wonderful mother known for her kindheartedness and gentle spirit.
Born in the Bronx New York, Joan was the daughter of the late Herman and Helen (Kaznowitz) Cranwell and the sister of the late James Cranwell and the late Thomas Cranwell.
She is survived by her sisters Barbara Hughes of Florida, Doris Brown Dennis of Bristol (formally of Warren), Jacqueline Cranwell of Warren, and Francis Cranwell of New York.
She was a graduate of Gordon High School in Yonkers, New York and Edgewood College in Barrington where she majored in marketing.
She was the co-owner of the Town House Restaurant in Warren.
After moving to Bristol, Joan was active in the Bristol Garden Club where she served as secretary, the Warren Garden Club, and the Girl Scouts of RI.
In 2013, the inaugural year, she was named an Honorary Chair of Bristol Blooms for her contributions to the beautification of Bristol. Joan enjoyed spending time with her husband at their home in Florida where they were avid golfers.
Besides her husband, she is survived by her children Edward Engell Jr. of Anchorage, Alaska; Beth Ann Engell of Bristol; and her stepchildren Audrey Field, Mary Fitzgerald- Doyle, Joseph M. Brito Jr., and Michael S. Brito, Sr.
She was preceded in death by her stepson Ceasar Patrick Brito.
Joan also leaves her grandchildren Torey J Engell , Rudy Engell, Michael Field, Kevin Field, Stephen Fitzgerald, Joseph M. Brito III, Christopher W. Brito, Maryellen Bacigalupo, Kara Wickman, Michael S. Brito Jr., Jonathan D. Brito, Matthew J. Brito and Katherine E. Brito and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Church, 577 Wood St., Bristol. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Chestnut Street, Bristol.
Visiting hours are respectfully omitted.
In lieu of flowers, your donations in her memory may be sent to Bristol Blooms, PO Box 1083, Bristol, RI 02809.
For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions go to www.sansonefuneralhome.com.