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Image of Joanne Broderick, Volunteer

Passing of Longtime Volunteer - Joanne Broderick

With a heavy heart, we share some unfortunate and sad news. Our dear friend, Joanne Broderick, a longtime Habitat Cape Cod volunteer site coordinator and advocate, has passed away. Joanne was truly loved, and we are heartbroken by this sudden and unexpected loss. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family, friends, and fellow volunteers. 

Joanne began volunteering for Habitat Cape Cod in 2008, however, it feels like she has always been with us. And she will always be with us, in our hearts. She contributed in many ways and on so many builds…too many to list.

In addition, Joanne helped lead us through the pandemic and our new volunteer website. She was an integral part of the 2023 Veterans Build fundraising and planning, honoring her dear friend Bob Harding. At the time of Joanne’s passing, she was finishing up coordinating a build on Nauset Street in Sandwich and beginning the two-home build on Phoebe Way in Brewster.

Joanne got things done no matter how big or small the task was, with immense care for the smallest detail. Whether it was welcoming homeowners and volunteers to a site, proofreading copy for a newsletter, or installing whatever needed installing, she was always a vital component to the team.

Joanne was a role model and mentor to many homeowners, volunteers, and staff; she took pride in building affordable homes for our community and fiercely advocated for Habitat Cape Cod and her volunteer crew.

When Joanne spoke, everyone listened as she spoke from her heart and with great intelligence. Her expertise, kindness, guidance, and compassion for Habitat Cape Cod were always evident. 

Joanne was one of our most beloved volunteers, a giant amongst us. She will be greatly missed.

Services for Joanne will be on Friday, October 13, at 11:00 AM at St. Joan of Arc’s Roman Catholic Church, and her full obituary can be found here.

Image, Joanne Broderick, Bulldozer
Image, Joanne Broderick, Volunteer Coordinator, Sledge Hammer
Image, Joanne Broderick, Volunteer Coordinator, Construction

Director of Construction Bob Ryley Remembers Joanne Broderick at Habitat Cape Cod’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Celebration

It was November of 2011, Nickerson Road in Orleans, where I first met Joanne Broderick and many other core volunteers. All were new faces to me as this was my first house as Habitat’s new Director of Construction. We were at that stage of construction where all inspections were done, and the next one was insulation inspection so that we could begin hanging Blueboard. The insulating contractor had left out the insulation around the stairwell; it would not pass inspection without that being done.

I was going over the various tasks of the day and assigning (or, more accurately, looking for volunteers for the various tasks; as I said, I was new to the volunteers then). All of the day’s tasks were assigned, but one… I reiterated to the group that the most important item on the list was getting the insulation inspected and that if we didn’t do it ourselves, I would have to call the insulators back to do it, and that would cost us an additional week in time before we could hang the Blueboard. I still had no takers, and no one wants or wanted to hang insulation; it is a nasty job.

It was Joanne who stepped forward from the group and said…” I’ll do it.” In that one small gesture, I learned everything I needed to know about the character of Joanne Broderick and what she was made of. That still stands out to me as a moment that I will never forget, and I made sure that Joanne knew that in a note that I sent to her on her 80th birthday.

When you were in a pinch and you needed some help, Joanne Broderick was always the first one to go to. Joanne Broderick was the total package—the embodiment of what it means to be the leader of a team. We are…all of us…fortunate to have had her in our midst and better human beings for having known and worked with her.

God Bless…We will miss you…

Image, Project Meeting, Staff, Volunteers, Habitat Cape Cod

Volunteer John Kaar’s Speech Honoring Joanne Broderick, in 2014 With the Everett Stoyle Spirit of Service Award

This year’s recipient of the Ev Stoyle Spirit of Service award has been a Habitat Volunteer for only about six years. But in that short period of time she has had an incredible impact on the construction capacity and capability of this affiliate.

In the role she has taken on, it’s safe to say that she has personally interacted with more volunteers over the past five years than anyone else in Habitat Cape Cod. Even when we make a generous estimate of numbers of continuing volunteers, we’d say that she has recruited, recorded, talked to, listened to, reminded, fed, enrolled, encouraged or enabled over 1000 individual volunteers over the past five years, which is the time that she has been Volunteer Coordinator for 19 Habitat homes.


Joanne…you already knew we’re honoring Joanne Broderick, didn’t you…Joanne works with the Construction Director, staff and house leaders to be sure that volunteers have a good sense of what will be happening at each site, each work day. She ensures that the skills necessary will be on board, reaching out to experienced workers if the volunteer list is “thin”. She reminds the volunteers who have signed up that they are expected, and what they might need to bring. I recently discovered that for some of our regular volunteers, she even runs customized scheduling, along the lines of “sign me up for every Tuesday and Saturday unless I tell you I can’t come.” (Probably she’d rather not expand that service. Sorry Joanne.)

Joanne started volunteering at the Women Build in Brewster in 2008. And since taking on the coordinator responsibilities she has been a strong advocate for women volunteering in construction, on both Women Builds and our regular builds. She was a leader of the Steering Team for the current Bevan Way Women Build. And she is “walking the talk”, routinely putting on her toolbelt and framing, hanging Blueboard or painting, working many dozens of days per year as, she has become, an experienced construction volunteer.

At the build, Joanne famously does whatever job will move the project along. I don’t recall her ever leading devotions, but I have seen her setting up for registration, running out for drinking water or morning break food, up on the scaffolding shingling walls, sweeping up, and breaking down the registration table, all on the same day…which then ends by her taking recycle to the Orleans Transfer Station. Watching her pace of work, some of the guys get so tired that they just have to go home early!

So, for everything that she does for our scores of volunteers, for Habitat Cape Cod leadership, and for the families we’ve housed, please join me in honoring the recipient of the 2014 Ev Stoyle Spirit of Service Award – Joanne Broderick.

Image, Annual Meeting, Volunteers, Joanne Broderick, John Kaar