JoAnn Amy (Jantz) Tolbert


JoAnn Amy Tolbert, age 46, of Remsen, NY, passed away with her husband by her side on March 20, 2021, after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

JoAnn grew up in Candor, NY, the daughter of Roger and Lucinda “Cindy” Jantz. She graduated from Candor High School in 1993, where she was an athlete on the volleyball and basketball teams. She had wonderful childhood friends whom she considered “sisters”, and she maintained many of these relationships throughout her life. JoAnn attended college at Morrisville and Utica SUNYIT. Following graduation, she worked at Utica National Insurance in New Hartford, NY. She loved her work, and created many close friendships while there. She left her work to fight cancer full-time, but never lost her connection with those work friends, many of whom participated in her cancer care in some aspect.

JoAnn loved being a mother and she absolutely adored her children, Susan and Brian. She could often be found cheering them on from the side of the football field, the ski run, or the swimming pool. She was their biggest fan and she loved them with all of her heart.

JoAnn and Jim shared a true love story. Her disease tested them mightily, but their love and commitment to each other was stronger than anything cancer could throw at them. They loved each other completely and they were true partners in everything.

JoAnn enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She seemed to always be planning the next gathering or road trip. JoAnn had an uncanny ability to exude love to those around her. To quote one of her close friends, “to know her, was to be loved by her.” JoAnn was sweet, kind, caring, strong and beautiful. She was known for her hugs, her welcoming smile and sparkling bright blue eyes.

She touched people far and wide, especially after she was featured as our very own Wonder Woman on the TODAY show in 2016, and with the Syracuse Orangemen basketball team in 2017. She was made to feel special at many events throughout her cancer fight, and, as a result, she spread her light and love to many.

JoAnn is survived by her husband, James “Jim” Tolbert; her children, Susan and Brian Tolbert; her parents, Roger and Cindy Jantz of Candor, NY; her brother, John (Karin) Jantz of Candor, NY; her sister, Veronica (Carl) Williamson of Candor, NY; her nieces and nephews, Austin and Mason Perry, Jason and Kyle Jantz, and Megan and Kellen Williamson; her in-laws, Frank and Shirley Tolbert of Remsen, NY; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. She is predeceased by her sister, LuAnn Jantz; her aunt, Linda (Jantz) Bookman; and grandparents, John and Gladys Jantz and Alice Nichols.

JoAnn’s funeral will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut Street. Burial will be private.

Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the funeral. Those attending are required to have a facial covering, adhere to the social distancing guidelines, and only a limited number of people will be allowed in at a time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to, a memorial scholarship fund for high school students pursuing a medical degree and desire to work in underserved areas; and/or, an organization which provides support, in various ways, to central New York cancer patients.

A fund will be set up for Susan and Brian’s future. Contributions can be made in care of Jim Tolbert.

The family would like to thank Dr. Cherney and the clinic at Hematology Oncology Associates of Syracuse and Dr. Sanford at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for their wonderful care during JoAnn’s strong fight.

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