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Joanne Gafas Obituary

Joanne Gafas
May 9, 1947  -  April 4, 2020
A play list of Songs Joanne Gafas Enjoyed  (Click Here) Bradford, VT - Joanne Barbara Donnelly Gafas passed away unexpectedly at her home in Bradford, VT on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Memorial service details are available below.
Joanne was born in Stony Point, Rockland County, NY on May 9, 1947 to parents Gerald Bernard Donnelly and Barbara Rose (Miller) Donnelly. Gerald was a first-generation Irish-American financier and Captain in the U.S. Army Airborne during WWII. Barbara was a social worker and proud daughter of the American Revolution. Joanne was their only child, born with a strong will and the heart of a rebel.
Joanne is survived by her children Gerald Bell (son), Jennifer Bell (daughter), and Mallory Gafas (daughter) as well as her grandchildren Kira Bell (granddaughter), Isaac Bell-Morey (grandson), Imogene Bell (granddaughter), and Murray Bell (grandson). She is also lovingly remembered by many friends and extended family in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas.
Joanne spent her childhood in Goshen and Campbell Hall, NY and attended Washingtonville High School in Washingtonville, NY. She was presented to society at the age of 18 at the Debutante Assembly in Manhattan before attending college in Connecticut. Then she moved to New York City, where she married, had two children, and became an outspoken feminist and political activist. Drawn to country & western music and dance, warm weather, and a booming economy - Joanne ventured southward to Houston, Texas in 1976. There, she re-married, had her third child, and started saying “y'all”. After more than two decades in the South, her Yankee roots took her northward once again. Missing the Hudson Valley's hills from her childhood, she re-settled in New Hampshire and then Vermont, spending her final years in the Upper Valley.
Throughout her life, Joanne worked as a real-estate investor, insurance broker, public servant, political activist, and homemaker. A passionate animal-rights activist, she was also a life-long supporter of several organizations devoted to animal welfare. In addition, Joanne was an active member of the West Newbury Congregational Church in West Newbury, VT for nearly 20 years. There, she helped coordinate church activities, attended Bible study, and participated in West Newbury’s annual variety show. Joanne enjoyed singing and dancing, caroling, staying physically fit, playing scrabble, voicing her opinion, decorating with the color purple, daily worship, and making people smile. Above all, Joanne was known as a fierce advocate of her beliefs, a loving mother, and a gracious friend. 
Joanne will be buried at the West Newbury, VT Cemetery on Rogers Hill Road. Arrangements are by Hale Funeral Home in Bradford, VT. Virtual and teleconference funeral services will be held by on Saturday, April 11th at 2pm Eastern (1pm Central)
virtual memorial service link: https://lucidworks.zoom.us/j/819026897
Meeting ID: 819 026 897
+18558801246,,819026897# US Toll-free to listen
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).