Mourning the death of Joan Pantanelli, meritorious veteran, distinguished citizen, and devoted member of her community

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Senate Resolution No. 277

BY: Senator MAYER

MOURNING the death of Joan Pantanelli, meritorious
veteran, distinguished citizen, and devoted member
of her community

WHEREAS, There are certain outstanding members of our community who,
through their selfless commitment and dedication, have served to better
the quality of life in our community and have had a measurable positive
impact on the lives of its residents; Joan Pantanelli was one such
individual; and

WHEREAS, It is with profound sorrow and deep regret that this
Legislative Body records the passing of Joan Pantanelli, noting the
significance of her purposeful life and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, Joan "Johnnie" Pantanelli, of White Plains, New York, died
on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at the age of 97; and

WHEREAS, Born on March 1, 1925, Joan Adkins grew up in Scarsdale,
New York, where she graduated from high school in 1943; she went on to
study aeronautical engineering at New York University (NYU), before
briefly working for General Electric manufacturing BA-10 motors which
operated bomb-bay doors on bombers for the war; and

WHEREAS, From a young age, Joan Adkins had a love for motorcycles
and airplanes; she was a member of the Motor Maids of America, and met
her future husband at the motorcycle shop in White Plains, where he was
a mechanic; and

WHEREAS, In 1944, with World War II in full swing, Joan Adkins
joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves and Civil Air Patrol,
where she helped with reconnaissance missions, searching for German
submarines off the East Coast; this earned her the prestigious
Congressional Gold Medal; and

WHEREAS, Upon the completion of her military service, Joan Adkins
spent her weekdays working at the Warwick Country Club; determined to
fly airplanes, she used her wages and tips to rent an airplane on the
weekends so she could learn to fly; she received her pilot's license in
1947; and

WHEREAS, The former Joan Adkins and John Pantanelli were united in
marriage on June 7, 1952, during which time the couple moved to White
Plains, New York, before welcoming their son, John-Pierre Pantanelli, in
1956; and

WHEREAS, Joan Pantanelli and her husband owned a motorcycle shop,
which they eventually closed to open their scaffolding company, Swing
Staging Inc., in New York City; after her husband passed away in 1987,
Johnnie's son took over management, and the two of them worked together
to run the company for more than 40 years; and

WHEREAS, Well into her 80s and 90s, Joan Pantanelli made the commute
to the city to work alongside her son; early on, her no-nonsense

attitude earned her the job of making collection calls, but she was
later known for making sure the office supplies were ordered and the
candy dish was always full; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, under her able leadership, Swing Staging grew
to become one of the largest privately-owned suspended-scaffolding
companies in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Outside of work, Joan Pantanelli maintained an unwavering
commitment to Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and the Northeast Composite
Squadron, where she most cherished working with the cadets; as one of
its longest serving members, the squadron she commanded was renamed the
Colonel Johnnie Pantanelli Composite Squadron and she earned the grade
of Colonel in May of 2011; she faithfully attended weekly meetings until
November 11, 2022; and

WHEREAS, In addition to being presented the Congressional Gold Medal
during the 2015 New York Wing Conference, this extraordinarily selfless
woman was awarded CAP's Bronze Medal of Valor in recognition of her
heroic efforts after she pulled an unconscious man from a burning car,
saving his life; and

WHEREAS, A guitarist and singer, Joan Pantanelli was never one to
shy away from a microphone; as a devout Catholic, she sang baritone in
the Church choir for over 50 years at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, where
she was also a member of the Ladies Guild which focused on charitable
community outreach; and

WHEREAS, Joan Pantanelli's son and grandchildren knew her for her
generosity, incredibly sharp mind, matter-of-fact persona, and love of
family gatherings around the holidays; she loved to sing "Be Not Afraid"
and "Amazing Grace" with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; she
banged pots and pans on her front porch to ring in the New Year, and
loved to toast with a glass of Reisling, on ice; and

WHEREAS, Predeceased by her husband, John Pantanelli; mother,
Augustine Theall; father, George Adkins Sr.; brother, George Adkins; and
adoptive father, Walter Theall; Joan Pantanelli is survived by her
half-sister, Patricia Theall; son, John-Pierre Pantanelli (Sonya); and
her four grandchildren Seth, Michaelangelo and Rafaello Pantanelli, and
Lia Barberis; as well as four great grandchildren, Amelia and Gwen
Pantanelli, and Ariana and Preston Barberis; and

WHEREAS, Joan Pantanelli's infinite selflessness and benevolence
will shine on through her family's vivid and happy memories; her insight
and strength will forever serve as a beacon of love, light and hope to
the countless lives she touched; and

WHEREAS, Armed with a humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Joan Pantanelli leaves behind a legacy which will long
endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all
who were privileged to have known and loved such an amazing woman; she
will be deeply missed and truly merits the grateful tribute of this
Legislative Body; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Joan Pantanelli, and to express its deepest
condolences to her family; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of Joan Pantanelli.


  • 18 / Jan / 2023
  • 24 / Jan / 2023
  • 24 / Jan / 2023

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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