The Passing of Joey Moran – by Johnny Bivera

The Sicilian crew with Mt. Etna in the background. Joey Moran with the long flowing hair in the middle just above me and Jonathan Blosser.

My dearest friend Joyce ‘Joey’ Moran passed away in the early morning hours of Monday.  This stuns me to the core so much to now have both Moran parents removed from our world and their young son Dane.  Joey is a retired Navy Photographer’s Mate who worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence like her husband Gerald ‘Jerry’ Moran who was killed on 9/11 at the Pentagon.  The Moran’s treated me like family when I was a young sailor in Sicily.  They had this wonderful home on a cliff just south of Catania overlooking a small private beach they shared with a neighbor where many weekends were spent on the patio for cheese and wine.  They loved each other very much, you could feel it every day you were around them.Jerry was an exceptional chef, who loved to cook Italian for everyone while Joey was the ever-smiling host.  I remember Jerry, Shannon and Dane keep an eye on me while I was out surfing huge waves near SiracusaJoey ran the photo lab at Sigonella while Jerry worked at the base exchange.  They took care of every combat camera detachment that came through their area and any Photomate that needed assistance.   Jerry survived the barracks bombing during the Beirut conflict while working as a combat cameraman, but fate caught up with him at the Pentagon on that dreaded September 11th day.  We’ve lost three of the Moran family, to be survived by daughter Shannon. There was a viewing at Lee Funeral Home in Clinton, MD on Saturday March 26th where family, friends and colleagues paid their last respect.  I arrived at the last minute, I didn’t want to say good-bye, there’s been a lot of that around me lately.  Joey was interned at the columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery on June 1st 2011 at 11 AM.

Joey’s Obituary

Joyce “Joey” Athena Moran, 51, was born in Morrison, Illinois, on September 27, 1959, to her parents, John “Jack” Brearton and his wife, Jo Ann.  Joey graduated from Morrison High School in 1977 where she was a member of the yearbook committee and when she realized her passion for photography.

Joey turned her photographic passion into a career in 1978, when she enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  It was the navy that brought Joey together with the love of her life Jerry Moran.  Joyce and Jerry wed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1984.  Jerry was released from the Navy after completion of his initial five-year contract to travel with Joey to various photo labs and duty stations to include Sicily, Hawaii, Orlando, Norfolk and Little Creek, Va.

She often told stories of their travels throughout Europe, like camping in Germany and time spent on Italian beaches.  Joey organized family cruise trips, weekend ski trips, and often hosted social gatherings at her home for barbecues, Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday parties for colleagues, friends and family.   Her daughter Shannon is a graduate of Towson University while son Dane pursues his love of specialty car maintenance.  Joey was an avid cook and shared that love with Shannon.  Joey surrendered to Jerry’s love of football and learned everything she could about the NFL and eventually became an avid Washington Redskins fan.

In 1998, Joey retired from the Navy as a First Class Photographer’s Mate after a successful 20-year career.  Following her retirement from active duty, Joey worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence as a civilian data collections expert after a brief period of employment with BAE Systems.  Throughout her naval career and her subsequent employment as a civilian with the Department of the Navy, Joey was famous for mentoring and taking Junior Sailors and new employees under her wing.

Joey earned the following commendations during her naval career; the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, three Navy Unit Commendations, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, four Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, Navy “E” Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, Armed Forces Service Medal and nine Flag Letters of Commendation.  Joey was named Junior Sailor of the Quarter and Sailor of the Quarter several times throughout her career and was named Sailor of the Quarter in the first quarter of 1996 while serving as the leading Petty Officer in the ONI-3 Directorate.  In 2005 she was awarded the Cooper-Moran IT Distinguished Civilian Award, named in part for her husband Jerry, who gave his life in service of his country on September 11, 2001 during the terrorists attack on the Pentagon.

Joey died of natural causes on March 21, 2011 at her home in Brandywine, Md.  She is survived by her mother Jo Ann Brearton and her siblings Judy “Jess” of Wichita, Kansas; Jerry of Brandwine, Md., Janice “Janie” of Morrison, Ill., step sister Cindy of Morrison, Ill., and half brother James “Jimbo” of Charleston, South Carolina.

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27 Responses to “The Passing of Joey Moran – by Johnny Bivera”

  1. Joey and Jerry took great care of all of CCG teams when we were in Sig. They opened their home and fed us. I am so sorry to hear of Joey’s passing . My heart goes out to the kids.

  2. Joey always took great care of me when she was my LPO here in Sicily (even when I didn’t deserve it!). The news of her passing is a sad and stunning reminder of the frailty of mankind. I hadn’t been in touch with the Moran’s since they left Sicily, but they will both be missed, nonetheless. Thank you, Johnny, for the trip down memory lane at the top of the page.

  3. Mike Mullen Says:

    It was both an Honor and a pleasure to have know the Moran family. Our path’s crossed when I was sent to Sig to be the CPOIC of the Lab there. They were the most friendly people I have ever met and always had smiles and open arms to welcome photomate’s into their home. I will always remember them with fond memories of my time spend in Sigonella. They made my tour there more special than it would have otherwise have been.

  4. Harry Blacker Says:

    Very nice post Johnny. Jerry & Joey were such a great pair. She really did care about her people and Jerry was a great guy (as well as one hell of a great cook). They put on a great dinner for my COMCAM crew in Newport R.I. Had the pleasure of working around Joey at ONI (as well as helping her out with her Drivers license issues). It is a tragic loss before her time. At least we all know that Joey is now with her soul mate Jerry and both are probably looking down on all of us that they touched in life and enjoying some wine and cheese together again. Our prayers go out for them and for their kids Shannon & Dane.

  5. I was very sad to hear of the sudden passing of Joyce, I hadn’t been in touch with her since I left NFCU @ ONI almost 2 years ago. She was a sweet person as well as 1 of my favorite NFCU members that I had the pleasure of waiting on during my 11 years at NFCU in Suitland. She will be missed and my thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

  6. Hi, my name is Katie, I came across this entry while looking for different photos of Joey and Jerry. I am their niece. My mom is Jerry’s sister. I just wanted to say that this is a beautiful post. During the viewing on Saturday, they had a wonderful slideshow of pictures showing and there were copies there for anyone that wanted them. I am sure some of the pictures were from this time and would be more than happy to email you a copy of the DVD.

  7. To the family of Joey – very sad to hear of the passing of Joyce. I knew Joyce from ONI.

  8. Ken Brown Says:

    First, Johnny, thanks for setting up this site. It is a fitting tribute to both Joey and Jerry.

    On a lighter note, when Joey first started working for me at FLTIMGCOMLANT Norfolk, I asked her how she got her nickname “Joey”. Seems that during boot camp she was whispering with another girl during a class and that girl asked Joyce her name. She heard wrong and thought it was Joey, and the name stuck.

    I will be forever grateful of Joey’s hard work and attention to detail that kept me out of trouble and made all of OPS look good. And like so many have said, her ready smile made the work pass easier and be more fun.

    Her deep connection with all the CCG teams that rolled through Sig goes back to her days as OPS Assistant when she took care of the teams that were heading out on assignments every week. She got them out, and when they got back ensured everyone’s claims were filled out correctly and each member got paid. Pity the poor travel clerk that screwed up a CCG member’s claim. Those eyes could flash fire when she was mad.

    Connie and I miss you Joey.

    Ken

  9. Barry Hester Says:

    I had the pleasure of working with both Jerry and Joey at the Office of Naval Intelligence in the late 90’s. The news of Jerry’s murder shocked me to the core and this news really saddens me. Deepest sympathies to all their families, friends and shipmates. Fair winds and following seas Joey….

  10. Paul Jensen Says:

    I first met Joey in Oct. 1982. I was PCSing to the USNS Harkness, and working & berthing at Nimitz’s Hall. Joey drew up some paperwork and next thing I knew, I was TAD to FLTIMAGCOMLANT. When I entered V-64 with Joey, everyone that we passed knew her, and said hi to her. It was as if she was the C.O. She was highly respected by all. During my 4 week stay in Norfolk, if I needed something, Joey helped me get it. She was an amazing young lady, and I will never forget that smile.

  11. Lori A Steenstra Says:

    I first met Joey when I was stationed at the Office of Naval Intelligence from Dec 1997 – May 2000. She was a wonderful person and I am deeply saddened by her passing. She truly loved her family very much. She was an inspiration to me and as my former LPO, she really did look after the young Sailors. I will never forget all the kind things she did for me. I will truly miss her and her smile.

  12. Roger Dellinger Says:

    I first heard of Jerry’s passing with a short email from Joey, just saying, “Roger, Jerry is missing.” I’ll never forget that morning. None of us will. I felt so bad that she lost the love of her life. I was happy she was still working at ONI, I know she enjoyed her work. I learned of Joey’s passing the same way, a short email. We’ll miss you Joey. You were a joy to work with. Heaven was needing a hero . . .
    Please post when Arlington services will take place.

  13. Hello Everyone, this information was passed on to me by Russ Carter. Russ has done a lot in supporting the Moran family since Jpey’s passing. Joey will be interred at the columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery on June 1st 2011 at 11:00am

  14. Dave Nosal Says:

    My heart goes out to the Moran family. I just learned of this today. She was a joy to work with and a wonderful person.

  15. I met Joey and Jerry before they were married while at FLTIMGCOMLANT Phojo Locker in the early 80s. Joey worked in Ops with Ken Brown and Gunter Haag. Jerry was a mopicer in CCG. Concur with KBs comments. I deployed to Sig and Beirut before and after the BLT bombing. Both of their deaths were shockers. Taken so young. Nice work here Johnny. Hope to see you in “Norlens” in Sept.

  16. Mark Therien Says:

    When I deployed to Sig with Combat Camera, Joey and Jerry took us under their wings, opened up their home to us like we were family, and made us feel at home while we were away from our own homes and families. We’d go over for a visit, and end up drinking beer, listening to good old rock n roll, snorkeling, eating dinner and staying the night. Our dets invaded Joey’s photo lab, and she shared her space, knowledge and local connections generously and without resentment. Their loss is unbelieveable, and strongly felt by the many of us lucky enough to have known them. That said, it’s consoling to know they’re together again.

  17. Michael Harnar Says:

    I was a young photomate at the Sig lab from 83-85 and Craig Beck and I had an apartment together. Jerry and Craig were great friends. Joey visited Jerry there in Sig before they were married and I still remember going out to dinner/drinks with them to Sticky Fingers, a pub up in the hills above Catania. They were a perfect couple and I have never forgotten their love for each other. Jerry’s early passing was a shock, and this passing of Joey when she was so young is hard to digest. The world is a sadder place without them, but they showed a lot of people what love can be like. Thanks Johnny for putting this together. I might not have learned of her passing if not for this. You are a good friend!

  18. Gloria Ford Says:

    I was shocked to learn of Joey’s passing. I had the pleasure of being stationed with Joey at FICPAC and ONI. She was a great person to know and work with. She always had a smile and there was nothing she couldn’t do. She will always be remembered as a good friend to all she came in contact with. My sympathies to the Moran family.

  19. I am a fellow FICPACer. I share the sorrow.

  20. Linda Driggars Says:

    I knew her briefly while stationed at FICPAC, however, I remember such a delightful person with a smile that made you feel welcomed no matter what rate or rank you were. She will be dearly missed. Our prayers are with the family.

  21. Gary Bernhard Says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Joey at both FICPAC and ONI. Her loss saddens me and as well as shocks me. She lived life to the fullest with her positive demeanor and a smile. I can remember wondering down to the photo lab in Hawaii and how she was always ready to help. A wonderful human being who lit up every room she entered has now departed. She will be missed. My heart goes out to her family, friends, and shipmates around the world. God Bless the Moran family!

  22. Orlando P. Liles Says:

    Joey was my mentor, colleague and most of all she was my Best Friend. We would talk for hours concerning everything from raising a family to the challenges of working in the technology field at work. My days and nights are empty without her, but I know she is resting now and in a better place. Rest in peace Joey, I miss you a lot. Your BFF…

  23. Update: Joey will be interred at the columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery on June 1st 2011 at 11:00am

  24. Howard Thurman Says:

    jerry and joey traveled throughout germany france and italy togther with myself ,wife and two sons. we were always very close in italy. it was jerry and joey that brought us to their house over looking the mediteranian sea, and taught me to make bruscetta italian style. i am asked to bring to all parties i attend. i always give them credit. they will both be so very missed. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  25. John Marine Says:

    On this sad day my heartfelt simpathies and prayers are for the Moran family. I met both Jerry and Joey in Hawaii and I consider it an honor to have known them. Joey was like a mother to me and I have so many fond memories of her. We had such fun , all she talked about at work was her family and Jerry.

  26. Susan Zarlingo (Bakley) Says:

    Like so many before me, Joey was like a mom to me. Despite my bull headedness and immaturity, she made it her mission to be my mentor. She led by example, there was something so maternal and warm about her you couldn’t help but love her. I was very sad to hea of her passing and very sad to hear of Jerry’s. Shannon and Dan can be proud of how many lives Joey and Jerry touched and how truly wonderful and unselfish thy were.

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