Joan I. Svetz

1929 ∼ 2019

Joan I. Svetz

Joan I. Svetz 89 of Oak Bluffs MA of Martha’s Vineyard passed away peacefully with her husband of 60 years, John Svetz, by her side. Last rites were administered prior to her passing at the Royal Nursing Center in Falmouth MA.

Joan was born December 17, 1929 in the Bronx, NY to Thelma and Robert VanCamp. She graduated from high school in Oceanside California in 1947. Joan and John initially met working at General Dynamics in Groton, Connecticut and later married and resided in North Stonington, CT. They moved to Spartansburg, PA where they both enjoyed dairy farming, raising animals and gardening. They moved on to Martha’s Vineyard to build their current home and enjoy their retirement years. 

Joan and John became well-known island gardeners with expansive yard gardens and intricately designed ponds by John. They were highlighted in the gardening book “A Gardens Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard“, by New England garden writer and radio personality C.L. Fornari. Joan took many friends and island visitors through her gardens to share their beauty and her knowledge. Joan also enjoyed the Christmas holidays as John would be tasked with the long list of interior and exterior decorations to be appropriately positioned. Joan had an eye for the creative and an extensive Santa Claus collection. She was highlighted in the Vineyard Style Magazine for her holiday decoration displays in which she was referenced as Mrs. Claus on the Vineyard that Christmas season. Her other love was her diverse antique collection in which John played an integral part to creatively find places throughout the house to display them.

Besides her husband John, she is survived by daughter Cheryl Palmer and her husband Fred of East Falmouth MA, son Gary Svetz and his wife Chris of Meadville PA, son James Svetz of Poughkeepsie NY, son Jeff Svetz and son Mark Svetz.  She is also survived by her grandchildren Rebecca Claussen, Jonathan Palmer, Joshua Svetz, Matthew Svetz and Samuel Svetz, great grandchildren Lilli Claussen, Kayla Palmer and Katalina Palmer and her younger brothers Robert VanCamp and his wife Julie, Lopez Island, WA and James VanCamp, Pinehurst NC.

There will be a graveside memorial service scheduled for Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 11:00am held at the Oak Grove cemetery, Pacific Avenue in Oak Bluffs. A reception will be held at the P.A. Club at 12:30pm. For more information call John Svetz at (508)693-7415.

In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to honor Joan’s memory, please consider making a donation in her name to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard P.O. Box 1829 Edgartown, MA 02539

The family wishes to express their deep appreciation and gratitude to the Royal Nursing Center staff for their love and care of Joan during her final days.


Saturday, June 15, 2019 | 11:00 AM

Oak Grove Cemetery - Oak Bluffs
Address & Directions


Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard P.O. Box 1829 Edgartown, MA 02539

Learn more about Pre-planning

Joan I. Svetz

1929 ∼ 2019

Do you need help in writing your guestbook entry?

Try writing about one of these topics:

  • What characteristic did you love most about the person
  • What was your relationship with him/her
  • Do you have a tasteful story about him/her that exemplifies the qualities of the person
  • What one word would you use to describe the person
  • When was the first time you met him/her
  • Did you share in a special event with him/her

Did you know, this guestbook entry will be printed and given to the family as a cherished keepsake. Your words will be held closely by the family and their gratitude for the time spent writing will be boundless.