Joan Epifano Chiota, 90, died Feb. 25, 2010, in her home in Fairfield, surrounded by her family.

Born in Bridgeport, a daughter of the late Philip and Linda Colello Epifano, she spent her adult life in the Stratfield section of Fairfield.

She was predeceased by her husband, John P.Chiota Jr., an attorney; her daughter, Linda Chiota Alex; her brother, C. Philip Epifano; her sister and brother-in-law, Alice E. and Kenneth Zarrilli; and her granddaughter, Kendra Chiota Payne.

She is survived by her children, the Honorable John P. Chiota and his wife, Diane of Trumbull, Patricia Chiota and her husband, Richard Payne of San Francisco, Calif., her son-in-law, Paul Alex of Fairfield; six grandchildren and their spouses, John E. Chiota and his wife, Lynn of Fairfield, Christopher Chiota and his wife, Jennifer of Southborough, Mass., Gregg Chiota and his wife, Meghan of Norwalk, Kathryn C. Dresch and her husband, Brian of Trumbull, John Alex and his wife, Stephanie Martin-Alex of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Christina Alex of New York City; her sister, Ann E. Kochan of Easton; as well as eight great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Chiota was the co-founder of Fairfield County Reach to Recovery Program, an American Cancer Society volunteer service for breast cancer survivors. She was honored by Governor Rowland for her many years of dedicated service to this cause. A graduate of Roger Ludlowe High School in Fairfield and the College of New Rochelle in New York, she was a life member of the American Association of University Women. She was also a member of the Bridgeport Garden Club, and belonged to the Black Rock Yacht Club and the Fayerweather Yacht Club.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 2 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 545 Stratfield Road, Fairfield; interment will be at the convenience of the family. Calling hours took place March 1 at the Redgate-Hennessy Funeral Home, located at the corner of Main Street and Gorham Place in Trumbull.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chiota Family Scholarship Fund, c/o Fairfield County Community Foundation, 383 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851-1543 (

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