JoAnne Gonzalez Janicki (2013 - 2013)

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JoAnne Gonzalez Janicki

St. George

JoAnne Gonzalez Janicki passed away peacefully on July 17, in Arizona, where she spent 31 years of her life. She was 83.

JoAnne was born September 6, 1929, in Montpelier, Vermont, the daughter of Spanish emigrant Jose Gonzalez and Eleanor Paige. JoAnne earned an undergraduate degree in Education and a Masters in Special Education from Arizona State University. She married three times, in 1950 she wed Jack Holland and they brought Jo Carol & Kevin into the world, in 1968 she wed Frank Champion and they brought Charles Gregory into the world, then in 1980, she found her soul mate, World War II vet, Walter Janicki.

As a single mom, in the 1950's and 60's she worked two jobs and went to college while raising two children. Taking direction from her mentors, she went back to school in the 70's and got a Masters in Special Education. JoAnne taught in multiple schools within the Arizona Department of Education ranging from 1st grade to high school. In the 80's, she was a specialized teacher in the San Diego Unified School District teaching blind and deaf students. In the 90's, she and Walter retired to St. George, Utah, where she took up politics, painting, and black jack in Mesquite, NV.

JoAnne was an avid traveler, skier, and cyclist. She loved her dogs, books, and shopping at Nordstrom. An incredible wife, teacher, mother, grandmother, and loyal friend, she left an indelible impression on all those who came into her life. JoAnne's unwavering faith in people, positive vibration, and perseverance made her an example to anyone she met. JoAnne was truly one of a kind.

She is survived by her children, JC Adams, Kevin Holland, and Gregg Champion & his wife, Jennifer; her brother, Father Charles G. Gonzalez S.J.; her grandchildren, James Adams & his wife, Missy, Eric Henkel, and Elysse & Annabelle Champion; and her great-grand children Isabella & Jake Adams.

A memorial service is on Friday, July 26th at 1pm at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church in La Jolla, California with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers donations in JoAnne's memory can be made to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp at

Published in The Spectrum & Daily News on July 23, 2013
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