Joanne Elizabeth Smith

Former Jamesport resident Joanne Elizabeth Smith of Wayland, N.Y., died suddenly on Jan. 25 in Erie, Pa., at the age of 56.

She was born May 3, 1954, at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport to Grace Elizabeth Gergela, known as Betty, and grew up in Jamesport. She graduated from St. John the Evangelist School and Mercy High School in Riverhead.

Ms. Smith worked as a legal secretary before becoming disabled in 1992 and was a volunteer for over 30 years for the diabetes research study at Cornell Medical Center in New York City, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.  She was a member of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Perkinsville, N.Y., and St. Peter’s Women’s Fellowship, as well as the Hornell/Alfred Unitarian Universalist Society.

According to family, she loved singing with the Waylandaires choral group and enjoyed being a substitute in local bridge groups. She was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling, gardening, cooking, crafts, games and puzzles of all kinds. She was a volunteer at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, N.Y., and Wayland Free Library, and did pastoral work with her husband, the Rev. George Smith.

Ms. Smith is survived by her husband; her mother, of Sun City Center, Fla.; her daughter, Jessica Williams of Sagamore, Mass.; her siblings, Joseph Gergela of Manorville, Douglas Gergela of Palm Coast, Fla., John Gergela of Middle Island and Cynthia Kistner of Morrill, Maine; twin grandsons; and one step-grandson. She also leaves four stepchildren, Kelly Smith, Martin Smith, Bethany LeTourneau and Kelly Dolan.

A memorial service will be held at a future date. Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association.