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Official Obituary of

Joan Marie (Menale) Collipi

October 20, 1932 ~ March 6, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Joan Collipi Obituary

Joan Marie (Menale) Collipi – Salem, NH


On March 6, 2024, Joan Marie (Menale) Collipi passed away peacefully at home.  She was born on October 20, 1932, to Fernando “Alfred” Menale and Michelina “Millie” Di Pietro both of Lawrence, MA.   She was predeceased by her loving husband of 68 years, Ralph Vincent Collipi, Sr. on March 9, 2021 and her loving brother Anthony Edward Menale of Lawrence, MA.


She is survived by her son Ralph Vincent Collipi, Jr. of Londonderry NH, and her daughter Maureen Ann (Collipi) Anderson of Salem, NH. She leaves three grandchildren Joel Anderson of Salem, NH, Nikki Cruikshank of Newbury, MA and Kris Collipi of Derry, NH.   She also leaves three great grandchildren, Maya Anderson of Salem, NH, and Lily and Owen Cruikshank of Newbury, MA.


Mrs. Collipi attended Castle Secretarial School and was an executive secretary for Western Electric and AT&T Technologies in North Andover, MA.


Ralph and Joan retired in 1989 and embarked on a full-time career of round dance and ballroom dance teaching that took them around the world.  They composed dance routines and taught thousands of students during their 40-year career.  Ralph and Joan served as directors for national dance organizations, and their participation helped to shape what is in place today.  They became one of the premier round dance teachers in the world, and worked many festivals and weekends nationwide.


Here are a few of the awards they were honored to receive:

New England 2002 Yankee Clipper Award

Maestro Award and Silver Circle Award from Roundalab

Golden Torch International Award from ICBDA

Mickey Moore Dixie Round Dance Council

Nation Hall of Fame housed in Albuquerque, NM

New England Hall of Fame housed in UNH


In 1992, Ralph and Joan together with Carmen and Mildred Smarrelli. They formed a Leaders College that over the years graduated 230 Teachers nationally and internationally.


One of our favorite accomplishments was partnering with the Boys and Girls Club for an original projects contest, which was titled “Dancing with the Golden Stars”. They coupled Seniors from the NH Senior Center with Salem High School Seniors and in 10 weeks of dance instruction. They taught cha-cha routines to 15 couples.  The event was taped and won the Northeast Division and went on to a banquet in the Midwest and won Nationally.

Joan will be greatly missed by her family, her dance family and her many friends.  God Bless Her.


There are no calling hours or funeral services for Mrs. Collipi.


Goundrey Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main Street, Salem, NH 03079 is entrusted with the arrangements.  Please visit to sign the online guest book.

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