Obituary: Joan S. (Sabia) Kinnie


Joan S. (Sabia) Kinnie

NAUGATUCK — Joan S. (Sabia) Kinnie died peacefully after a long courageous battle surrounded by family and friends on Aug. 14, 2018, in Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital at the age of 78. Joan was born on April 18, 1940 in Waterbury to Frank and Laura (Quick) Sabia.

Joan is survived by her sons, Joseph of DelRay Beach, Fla., Peter and his husband, Ed DeCosta, of Naugatuck, Jonathan and his partner, Christine Gurge of Branford; her daughter, Laurel; her beloved grandchildren, Jaylen and Layla Joan of Naugatuck; her beloved sister, Diane (Sabia) Haas of Copley, Ohio; a niece, Mary Kinnie of Middlebury; and nephews, Bruce Haas of Chicago, Ill., and Steven Haas of Akron, Ohio. In addition to her parents, Joan is predeceased by her stepmother, Mildred Cronin Sabia; her brother-in-law, Philip Haas; and her former husband, Joseph Kinnie.

Joan graduated from Naugatuck High School in 1958. She continued her education at Central Connecticut State Teachers College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1962, a master’s degree in special education from Southern Connecticut State University, and then attended Southern Connecticut State University for her sixth year in counseling. She began teaching at Western Elementary School before continuing at Central Avenue Elementary School, where she continued giving to the children of Naugatuck for the next 40 years until her retirement in 2002. Still today, adults remember the kindness and giving that they experienced as she taught them so much more than the three R’s of their childhoods. It was during these years of service that Joan married Joseph Kinnie in 1963 and created many strong relationships with friends such as Nancy Grady, Elizabeth “Betsy” Stauffer, Evie Smith and Pat Kennis. Over the many years of her teaching, the couple welcomed four children into their home.

Her children and grandchildren remember her as a kind and giving mom and “Nana” who encouraged them to pursue their goals as they were given opportunities to wander the globe, spend summers at the cottage on Bantam Lake, and winters in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Joan held in high regard the many who supported her and her family in the courageous battle, including the kind support of her neighbors, Eileen and John Mudry, the “Butkus Angels,” and the many at Smilow Cancer Center and Gaylord Hospital.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, at The Congregational Church of Naugatuck, 9 Division St., Naugatuck. Calling hours will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday at the church. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

In memory of Joan, memorial contribution can be made to: Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital via Closer to Free Team Walsh at

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