Joni Lynn Cannatella, 58, of Lake Village died on November 3, 2018 at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences in Little Rock, after a prolonged struggle with metastatic breast cancer.
She was the Chicot County Treasurer for eight years and the 2018 Lake Village Woman of the Year.
Her strong will to live, her unwavering faith in God, and the love and prayers of family and friends carried her through surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, scans, hospitalizations, and pain. Even throughout her own struggle with cancer she reached out to support and encourage others affected by the disease, a demonstration of her nurturing love and caring heart.
Joni was born August 31, 1960 in Shreveport. She was the daughter of the late Reuben and Estelle (Oliphant) Jones.
She was a brave and iron-willed woman dedicated to her family and her community. Joni embraced life with gusto and joy. She was very passionate about life. She delighted in being with family and friends. Although very soft spoken, she took joy in conversations with friends as well as strangers. Her appetite for adventure lacked for nothing- whether it was bungee jumping, heading to the beach with family every summer even in the midst of treatment, being the first one on the dance floor, always ready to lead the second line, or kicking off karaoke. Entertaining family, friends and strangers in her home was a source of great pleasure for her.
Joni’s signature gift was her contagious and beautiful smile. Throughout her life she maintained a sweet and simple demeanor that won the hearts and trust of many. She was an active civic volunteer donating countless hours of her time and always willing to serve others. Joni was chosen as 2018 Lake Village Woman of the Year. She served many years on the board of The Lake Village Chamber of Commerce as well as the Southeast Arkansas Community Foundation. She was a founding member of the Museum of Chicot County. Joni was an active member of the Lake Village Garden Club, the Heritage Club, Our Lady of the Lake Altar Society and a communicate of the Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. She belonged to the Arkansas County Treasurers’ Association where she served as a member of the Continuing Education Board, and the Apprentice Treasurers’ Automation Committee.
Joni was proceeded in death by her parents and her son, Matthew J. Cannatella.
Joni is survived by her devoted husband of 33 years, Melvin James “Jim” Cannatella, loving son, Jeffery Christopher Cannatella and his precious wife, Heather and one grandson, Matthew Fisher Cannatella, whom she adored. All reside in Lake Village.
Visitation will be Wednesday, November 7, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Bishop-King Funeral Home Chapel, 1831 Hwy 82 & 65, in Lake Village. Rosary will follow at 6 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Thursday, November 8 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of The Lake Catholic Church in Lake Village, with Father Stephen Hart as celebrant. Interment will be in St. Isidore Catholic Cemetery, Lake Village. A luncheon reception will be held for family and friends at St. Mary’s Parish Hall immediately following the Funeral Mass. Arrangements are by Bishop-King Funeral Home of Lake Village, Arkansas.
Memorials may be made to UAMS Cancer Center, UAMS Office of Institutional Advancement, 4301 W. Markham Street, #716, Little Rock, AR 72205, or to Matthew Cannatella Memorial Scholarship Fund at St. Joseph High School, 1501 VFW Rd., Greenville, MS 38701.