WESTON, Vt. — Sister Joan Sirtowt, 65, passed away on Friday, June 11, 2010, in Waterbury, Conn., after a brief illness.

Sister Joan was born on June 2, 1945, in Waterbury, a daughter of the late Joseph Francis and Anna (Tenis) Sirtowt. She earned her B.S. in education from St. John’s University, 30 credits in educational media from Fairfield University and her master’s degree in theology from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. She was the originator of Joanie’s Bait Box, which operated on Spring Street in Naugatuck for over 30 years.

She entered into religious life on Aug. 9, 1963, with the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk in Blue Point, Long Island, N.Y. She was a teacher at St. Maurice School in Glenbrook, Conn., and St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hartford, Conn.; director of religious education at the Nativity B.V.M. in Swanton, Vt., for 25 years; and was also employed by Vermont Associates in St. Albans, Vt., and most recently Stewart Property Management in Springfield, Vt.

She leaves a sister, Roseceil Rader and her husband, Ronald Garth Rader, of Naugatuck; numerous cousins; and all of her religious sisters, especially Sister Mary Ellen Theriault.

A special thank you to the VNA Healthcare HOPE Team for their professionalism and compassionate care.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Thursday, June 17, at St. Mary Church, 338 North Main St., Naugatuck. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery, Cross Street, Naugatuck. Calling hours will be held at the Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main St., Naugatuck, on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made in Sister Joan’s memory to the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, 8115 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, N.Y. 11432; or to VNA Healthcare HOPE, 50 Brookside Road, Waterbury 06708.

To send an online condolence, please visit http://www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.