Posted by Natasha Courter

Community News Editor

The Facts

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GEORGIA — Joanna Hayes passed away on Aug. 30, 2015.  She was 25 days from her 62nd birthday.

Joanna was born in Newport News, Va., on Sept. 25, 1953. She was predeceased by her father, John C. Houbolt and is survived by her mother, Mary, sisters Neil and Julie, and their respective spouses, Tucker Withington and Carl Winter. She is survived, most importantly, by her loving husband, Matthew Hayes, of Georgia.

Joanna received a B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1976. She later received a B.S. from the Maryland School of Art and Design in 1981.

The one word to describe Joanna is “magical.”  From her whimsical artwork to her cottage of treasures on Butler Island to her outhouse dressed in owls, her quirky and imaginative nature was a special part of the fabric of life for her family and friends on Lake Champlain.

Joanna had a deep love of animals, especially rabbits and dogs, and her passion was grooming and obedience training with her Newfoundland dogs, Willie, Bernie, Johnny and Wilbur. In 1993, she earned certification as a Master Dog Groomer, the profession in which she found her true calling. She was consistently a member of the National Dog Groomers of America.

Joanna’s tenacious nature could be both her friend and foe: when she set out to accomplish something, she did so with unrelenting grit! She was committed to her endeavors, yet she was a supremely non-judgmental person, generous and accepting with others. For the past 11 years, Joanna gave her love and attention to children at Winooski Elementary School. Along the way, she especially enjoyed hitching her Newfoundland dog to a special cart [made by a good friend] and took young children for rides at home or in the hospital.

We invite you to honor Joanna’s life at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 So Main St., St. Albans on Saturday, Sept., 19th from 2 to 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Franklin County Animal Rescue, 30 Sunset Meadows, St. Albans, VT  05478. (802-524-9650). Messages of condolence to Joanna’s family are welcome at