In Memory of




Obituary for Joanne Sheppard-Cruz (Sheppard)

OXFORD: Joanne Sheppard-Cruz, age 74 of Oxford, beloved mother of Eileen Palarino, entered peaceful rest on Thursday, October 19, 2023 in Yale New Haven Hospital. Born in Newark, NJ, on September 5, 1949, she was the daughter of the late Francis and Patricia (Painter) Sheppard.

Joanne was a loud and proud Jersey girl who moved to NYC in her twenties, finally settling in Oxford CT in 1981. Joanne loved her sleepy little town and her home in the woods with all of nature's creatures stopping by for visits. Joanne was an avid lover of animals and had adopted several cats and dogs over the years. She loved the beach and the ocean and especially the sound of crashing waves. Joanne had a passion for reading, a trait she passed on to her daughter and grandchildren. She was a true believer in the saying “Life is short, eat dessert first” and instilled that into her grandchildren. She loved gardening, cooking, and shopping for shoes (because you can never have too many).

In addition to her daughter Eileen “Ellie” Palarino and her husband Skip, with whom she lived, “Nana” is survived byher 3 grandchildren Samantha, Jessie, and Jake who she loved fiercely, as well as great-granddaughters Lilliana and Ariella. Joanne will be missed by close family friend Tracy Vallerand that she loved like a daughter. Joanne is survived by brothers John “Shep” Sheppard and his wife Toni of FL, Tim Sheppard of PA, and sister Kathy Sheppard-Brown of TX as well as several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring as the weather is turning colder now and Nana did not like the cold. The Ralph E. Hull Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 161 W. Church St., Seymour, CT 06483 has been entrusted with her arrangements and service details will be posted in the future. To share a memory online, please go to