Joann Gaspar of Edgartown and formerly of Pembroke died Jan. 15 at Mass General Hospital in Boston from pneumonia. She was 53 years old. Joann Ford, as she was known at the time, first came to the Vineyard to attend a dart tournament in 1994. Though she hadn’t previously known the Vineyard existed, a friend asked her to come along and she did. Like many weekenders who come to the Vineyard, she fell in love with the Island. She found a place to stay and a job at Granite.

She met Jaime Gaspar in 1994. The two had lots of fun together and were married on Jan. 26, 2006.

Joann held many jobs on the Island, including at the Nunnepog Restaurant in the old building at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. She also worked as a caregiver to Kari Reynolds Seacord. Later she ran a house-cleaning business for two years, then got a job with Hertz Rent-a-Car cleaning and washing cars.

She loved to ride horses.

Joann was the daughter of the late Leonard and Dorothy Lapham and the loving wife of Jaime B. Gaspar. She was the beloved mother of Thomas Lapham of Hingham, James Lapham of Pembroke, Barbara Smith of Connecticut, Joyce Daniels of Plymouth and the late Ellen Lapham. She is also survived by four stepchildren: Nancy Lee Brown of Vineyard Haven, Kimberly Gaspar Johnson of Oak Bluffs, Buffie Gaspar DeSousa of Oak Bluffs, Jamie Ann Greene of Edgartown, her best friend Melissa Lee and her special dog Razzle.

Her wish was to be buried in Pembroke with her mother and father. A graveside service was held Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

God saw she was getting tired and a cure was not to be,

So he put his arms around her and whispered, “come with me.”

With tearful eyes we watched her suffer and saw her fade away,

Although we loved her dearly, we could not make her stay.

A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands to rest,

God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.