Joan Baumann-Jones On June 24, 2016, at 1:45 am, Nellie/Joan Claywell-Campbell-Baumann-Jones died of cardiac arrest, at the age of 87, in her never-warm-enough home in Shelburne, VT.
Joan was born in Jacksonville, Illinois on January 25, 1929 to Charleice and Oliver Claywell. Surviving poverty through the Great Depression, Joan went on to graduate from Winchester High School in 1942. She held various jobs throughout her life, from playing and teaching piano to working as a secretary for various municipalities.
Joan had three great loves in her life. She married her high school sweet heart, Robert Campbell, where she wore the poor soul out, having four daughters (soon to take over the community as The Campbell Girls). After many years together, Joan and Bob divorced, and she boldly took on raising four daughters as a single parent, an anomaly at the time. Soon after she would go on to marry her soulmate, Frank Baumann, spending many days traveling the U.S. for wood crafting shows and many nights square dancing. After decades of joy with Frank, Joan lost him to cancer. Despite not thinking she could love another, Ralph Jones waltzed his way into her heart. Marrying her, he became her Elk’s Lodge partner-in-crime. They spent many days in their lovely home in Peoria and every weekend at the Elk’s, dancing the night away and eating their fill at their beloved Friday Fish Nights. Blissful years later, Ralph too passed on. With one divorce and being a two-time widow, Joan graciously retired from romantic pursuits, giving the other women in Illinois a chance.
As Joan’s health declined and more care was required, at the age of 86, Joan made yet another bold decision and moved to Vermont, to be cared for by her family. She went on to people watch on Church Street, see the mountains of Mt. Philo and the beauty of Stowe. She also loved spending the rainy or cold days watching the antics and drama of Grey’s Anatomy, and the equally silly carnival of politics that is CNN. Up to the day of her death, she was making plans for farmers markets and summer festivals, continuing to be adventurous, excited and brave.
Joan was a highly independent and proud woman, with fierce wit and charm, and a voracious sweet tooth. Immensely compassionate and caring, throughout her life she volunteered at the South Side mission and remained active at the Glen Oak Christian Church. Her daughters and grandchildren meant the world to her, always making time for them. Her care was felt throughout, willing to go to great lengths to help any friend and all family members, or any stranger who was being treated unjustly.
So now, as Bob, Frank, and Ralph take turns dancing with her in heaven, we carry on her enduring spirit of unwavering love on Earth.
Her love continues through her four daughters Michelle Bachler, Lesli Harms, Kristen Cook, and Traci Wade; by never enough grandchildren (as she often prompted), Austin Cook, Taylor Cook, Seth Wade, Eden Harms, Christy Weiss, Ashley Bachler, Miles Bachler; and two great-grandchildren, Ila Bachler and Jeremy Eldridge.
Her life celebration was at the Woosley-Wilton Funeral Home in Peoria, IL on July 2. Dinner and memories immediately followed at the Olive Garden on War Memorial Drive.
In lieu of flowers, Joan asks that you spend a day watching CNN and take a shot every time they proclaim breaking news.