Joanne Borsos Averill Obituary

Joanne Borsos Averill passed away peacefully at her home on December 26, 2020. She was 89 years old.

Born on November 14, 1931, to Valerie and Anton Borsos of Niles, Michigan, she was the youngest of four children. After graduating from Niles High School, she attended the University of Michigan, where she met, and upon graduation, married Charles F. Averill. After four years with the U.S.Navy, Charles settled into a career with Whirlpool Corporation, and they made their home in St. Joseph.

In addition to raising their three beautiful and extremely talented children, Joanne was very involved in the community, serving in leadership roles and singing in the choir at her churches, serving on the school board for 16 years, for many years as it’s president, working passionately with the Fort Miami Heritage Society to save the old Congregational Church and turn it into the Landmark Center, and working again to rebuild it after it caught fire.

Joanne was also an active member of the Krasl Art Center, Indian Hills Garden Club, Monday Musical Society, Antiquarians, AAUW, Mary Martha Circle, bridge club, and the “Beach Bums.”

Joanne hated to cook, but loved to entertain. Her door was always open, literally, and she hosted all manner of travelers, from Brother Rice swimmers, and visiting choir/band/orchestra members, to the man who repaired the organ at the Congregational Church. She loved to travel, with friends, to Philadelphia and Charleston or with family to England, China and Peru, or if no one else would go, she would make new friends on a Smithsonian tour to Egypt. In her own words, she was “a very lucky lady.”

Joanne was predeceased by her husband, Charles, and is survived by her three children: Glenn (Cathy), Gregg (Carolyn) and Diane (William) Kennedy; five grandchildren: Palmer Averill, Ashley Averill, Samantha Averill, Paige Kennedy and Kate Kennedy; and a very large cat named Holly.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Those wishing to sign the memory book online may do so at In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation,