Joanne Green Broden October 1, 1922 – August 13, 2019. On Tuesday morning, August 13, Joanne Green Broden, 96, died at her home in South Bend, Indiana, while holding the hand of her beloved husband of seventy years. She was the second of George V. and Hazel Dorothy “Dott” (Pickens) Green’s six children. Scarlet fever compromised her vision at an early age, but never stopped her from pursuing education, parenting, activism, or a vibrant social life. Born and raised in Indianapolis, she attended Little Flower Grade School, graduated from St. Agnes Academy (Class of 1941), then earned her B.A. in English from Butler University (1945). She married Thomas F. Broden, Jr., also of Indianapolis, on June 18, 1949. The following year, the family moved to South Bend, where they raised five children.
An engaged member of the greater South Bend community for over six decades, Joanne devoted particular energy to social services, women and minorities, and voter education and access. In the 1960s, she became a member, then an officer in Catholic Social Services in South Bend. She joined the parish of Saint Augustine Catholic Church in 1970, where she worked every Friday at its soup kitchen on West Washington Street. In 1976–1977, she served as president of Catholic Social Services in the city, and strove to advance its mission to provide personal, pre-marital, marital, and parent-child counseling, as well as assistance to unwed parents and those seeking adoption services. Active in the Ladies of Notre Dame, she served a term as president, and ever cherished her participation in the organization’s service, its efforts to provide educational opportunities, its cultural outings and social events, and the lifelong friendships it nurtured.
In 1974, the voters of Portage Township elected Joanne to its Trustee Advisory Board, which administers financial assistance to those in need. A member of the League of Women Voters for many years, Joanne focused on voter registration, chaired its Human Resources Committee, and co-organized its workshop “What Do We Expect of Our Schools?” She volunteered at Democratic Party Headquarters for over four decades, and in her later years continued working on campaigns from her home, most proudly on those of her son John.
Joanne was a warm, lively woman who delighted in her children, doted on her grandchildren, and looked forward to family vacations at the beach and to holiday gatherings that brought everyone together in her home. She loved spending time with friends, playing contract bridge, reading, and following current events. She was also a spiritual person who drew strength from her faith, strove to further its ideal of charity and dignity for all, and believed in the afterlife.
The family would like to thank warmly Dan Mandell and Father Charles Lavely for visiting Joanne and Tom every Sunday, and for keeping them in contact with the St. Augustine faith community. We are grateful as well to John Charles Bryant for his frequent, joyful visits.
Joanne and Tom have been blessed to receive outstanding professional care in their later years. The family gratefully acknowledges Amanda Neal for her exceptionally skilled, tender, and devoted service. We extend special thanks as well to caregivers Katie Gray, Jenna Gray, Vanessa Abundez, and the staff of Senior 1 Care for their gentle and comforting assistance.
Joanne was preceded in death by her parents and by her siblings John Lewis, George, John “Jack,” Mary Lou Boschet, and Dorothy Ellen (Sister Michael Ellen Green, S.P.). She is survived by her loving husband, by their five children and their spouses Judith Ellen Broden Hopkinson (Dennis Hopkinson), Thomas F. Broden, III (Marcia Stephenson), Timothy P. Broden, Jane Ann Broden (Bill Chesanek), and John E. Broden (Jo M. Maternowski Broden); by nine grandchildren and their spouses Elizabeth McInerny, Brian Hopkinson (Melissa Headly Hopkinson), Dennis Hopkinson (Karen McIntyre Hopkinson), Alan Hopkinson, Will Chesanek, Brian Chesanek, Ana Marie Broden, John Francis Broden, Charles Joseph Broden; and by great grandchildren Owen and Claire Hopkinson.
Loving companions to the very end, Joanne and Tom together led a life devoted to family and to momentous causes. Faithful servant, rest now in peace! May saints console you, and may angels gladden your spirit. Delight in your heavenly home, until we meet again.
The family invites the public to Visitation on Friday, August 16, from 4:00 until 8:00 pm, with a Wake Service at 7:30 pm, at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN. To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com. Rev. Leonard J. Collins, C.S.C., will say the Mass of Resurrection on Saturday, August 17, at 10:30 am at Saint Augustine Catholic Church, 1501 W. Washington St. in South Bend. Burial will follow at the University of Notre Dame Cedar Grove cemetery. In lieu of flowers, we welcome donations to the Soup Kitchen or to the General Fund of Saint Augustine Catholic Church, P.O. Box 3198, South Bend, IN 46619–0198.
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