Campbell, Joan R.

Victor, NY

Joan (You can call me Joanie, or G Money) Campbell (originally from Trenton) left this world a better place on November 4th, 2019. Joan loved her family, food, Rachel Maddow, and Beyonce. She was most comfortable sitting in her chair, with her kitten while drinking  vodka tonic and eating food prepared by her favorite great-grandchild (the others were contacted prior to printing and agreed unanimously he’s the one). Joan was known to eat ice cream daily but the jury is still out on how she possibly maintained her slight figure with these habits. Before retiring to spend time with her family, Joan was a supervisor for the state of NJ Taxation Her greatest friends in life were made here and most of her adulthood was made happy and memorable by the people she encountered here. She also fed them often, so this kept her in their good graces. In retirement, Joan enjoyed trips to Friendly’s, spoiling the children, watching crime shows, and arguing with her brother about which crime shows to watch or what to eat for dinner. In 2014, Joan moved to Victor NY to live with family after an illness. Her time spent here gave her new purpose. She became an internet sensation with her videos of hijinks and one liners that every teenager around her captured on film. That is one reason why her loss has left so many in pain. Everyone loved gram!


As Joan took her last breath, she was surrounded by her loving family, her best friend and kitten, Agnes, her favorite music, laughter, and tears. Her spirit will be proudly carried on by her two daughters, Lynne Smerklo and Joann Morales. She is remembered by her 7 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and just welcomed her first great-great grandson in September.


Joan is best known for her independent spirit and one liners. If she combined those both, watch out! Many called Joan a spitfire, but that was an understatement. For a woman who was only 4’ 9” tall and got away with reporting her height as 5’ 5”, you knew she meant business. There wasn’t a stranger who crossed her path that was not charmed by her sarcasm, honesty, and self-deprecating humor. She instantly became everyone’s gram. Joan would meet you, insult you (out of love of course) and then adopt you as her own.


Although not credited with it, Joan was the original “independent woman”. She raised her two daughters as a single mother and made a life for herself. She provided  her family despite the hardships. Joan’s maverick spirit (she’d yell at you less if you called it this) has been passed down for generations and will be the quality her family misses most about her.


In her final days, Joan lived with her granddaughter, Stasia Lanpheare and her family in Victor NY. Joan’s love for her family  is by far, her biggest accomplishment. With each generation, Joan grew to appreciate those times together more and more. The memories made with her great-grandchildren will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone who witnessed it. Whether it was an inappropriate joke (Oh yeah! She had some), dancing around the room together, listening to music, or just listening to stories, Joan grew and evolved into a person who was more accepting, patient, and understanding She would say this was the accomplishment that meant the most. In the end, she wanted her family to know how much they truly meant (even if she didn’t always use the right words to express it). Joan wanted everyone to know that she was not giving up on life. Instead, she was making the biggest sacrifice ever imposed upon a person. She chose to let go for her family, who could not see her in pain any longer. For that, they are eternally grateful.


As a celebration of Joan’s life, we ask that you take some of her advice. Always send a birthday card. Don’t get a tattoo unless it’s in her memory (Sorry gram! You can’t stop us!). Never show up to a party without a dish that people cannot make on their own. Stay up late, and eat ice cream daily. Always carry cash. Finally, accept yourself and know that you alone have done amazing things. That your presence in the world made a difference. (Joan didn’t demonstrate this last part, but the people who love her hope that their love for her proved her wrong).


There will be an informal celebration of Joan’s life at the Lanpheare home soon. Formal arrangements are being held in New Jersey. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s research.

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