Joan B. McClernan, a retired real estate broker and animal lover, died May 23 of complications from chronic pulmonary obstructive disease at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 79.

The daughter of a businessman and a homemaker, Joan Brown was born and raised in Media, Pa., and graduated in 1951 from Radnor High School.

She worked as a secretary in Philadelphia, and after her marriage to an aerospace engineer, lived in Cape Canaveral, Fla., and Detroit. She moved to Monkton in the early 1960s when her husband took a job with the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River.

The longtime Monkton resident worked for more than 30 years as a real estate broker with Gaylord Brooks Realty and O'Conor & Mooney, from which she retired in 2008. She specialized in northern Baltimore County properties, family members said.

"She was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and had celebrated 43 years of sobriety," said a son, Ryan D. McClernan of Hunt Valley. "She enjoyed mentoring and helping many women through the years. It was a major component of her personal and spiritual life."

Mrs. McClernan enjoyed living in the country and was particularly fond of her three golden retrievers, Poppy, Sunny and Keely, her son said.

She was a longtime communicant of St. James Episcopal Church, 3100 Monkton Road, where services will be held at 5 p.m. Friday.

In addition to her son, Mrs. McClernan is survived by another son, Charles J. McClernan of Sparks; and two grandchildren. A son, Mark McClernan, died in 1986. Her marriage ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com