This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.

JoAnn Bills, 89, of Newport, RI, passed away on Monday, November 2, 2020 peacefully in her home surrounded by her 5 children – Marc, Denise, Michelle, Celeste, and Aimee.  

She survived her oldest daughter Collette and her husband Robert Bills, and she leaves 7 grandchildren – Matthew, Alex, Adam, Coral, Collette, Suzanne, and Luke and one great-grandchild, Scarlett.  

Her unconditional love touched the lives of so many.  JoAnn mentored young girls in an after-school program, volunteered at the Salvation Army food kitchen, and served as a hospice companion.  Everything she touched flourished from home cooked meals to lavish gardens and a warm welcoming home that was open to all.  Her love is trickling down through the generations and for this we are so blessed.  JoAnn’s kind and gracious spirit will remain among us forever.  

The family plans a private service, with hopes of having a Celebration of Life gathering in the Spring. 

If inspired, donations may be made to HopeHealth Hospice, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, 02984 or online at

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).