Obituary of Joanne McCollum Nagurny
Joanne McCollum Nagurny, aged 61, passed away peacefully on February 25th, 2023 at the Adler Center for Caring in Aldie, Virginia after a brief illness.
Joanne was born on January 12th, 1962 in Duluth, Minnesota to Lt. Col Joseph T. McCollum and Antoinette “Toni” Schmid McCollum. As a proud member of an Air Force family, Joanne moved frequently along with her parents and four sisters, at various times calling the Netherlands, Michigan, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Alabama home. She quite fondly remembered her time in Naples, Italy, where she lived from 1973-1976 and excelled in athletics at Forrest Sherman High School.
After her family settled down in Central Pennsylvania, Joanne graduated from Cumberland Valley High School in 1979. She went on to attend Slippery Rock State College, where in 1983 she earned a degree in recreational therapy. After college, Joanne moved to the Philadelphia area and worked for several years at Doylestown Hospital and later Moss Rehabilitation Center at Einstein Hospital helping victims of accidents, strokes, and other medical conditions recover through recreational therapy. While in Philadelphia, she met Walter Nagurny, whom she married on May 10th, 1986 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
In 1987, Joanne and Walt set down roots in northern Virginia, where they would go on to have a daughter, Samantha, in 1989, and son, Mark, in 1991. In Virginia, Joanne immersed herself in work helping her community: volunteering in the Fairfax County Park System and at Carpenter’s Shelter; counseling individuals struggling with substance abuse; and assisting the homeless in area shelters.
Joanne’s caring spirit led her to pursue a career as a professional counselor. She obtained a masters degree in counseling from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2005. Shortly thereafter she became a school guidance counselor at Loudoun County High School. In 2017, Joanne became director of school counseling at Park View High School in Sterling, Virginia. After nearly twenty years of counseling students, Joanne retired from the school system in August 2021. She then began working in private practice, founding Oak Hill Counseling Services and continuing to help young people and aspiring counselors.
Joanne lived her life to the fullest. Her boundless spirit of adventure took her from the beaches of Hawaii to the peaks of the Alps and everywhere in between. Perhaps nowhere was Joanne happier than on skis atop a mountain peak staring fearlessly down a daunting slope. A lifelong athlete, Joanne would often be seen on the golf course with her friends and family or shooting hoops in front of her home. She combined her loves of teaching and sports while coaching basketball and softball for several years.
Joanne was a loving mother, wife, daughter, cousin, and friend. Friends and family would always recall Joanne’s vivacious spirit, which shone through at every outing and occasion she attended. She is survived by her husband Walter, daughter Samantha, son Mark, father Joseph, and sisters Mary Ellen, Patricia, and Maureen. She was predeceased by her mother Toni and sister Kathleen.
Services will be held on Friday, March 10th, 2023 at 12 PM St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston, Virginia, followed by a celebration of life at Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center in Herndon, Virginia from 5-9 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Loudoun Education Foundation or the American Stroke Association.