Joan P. Barrows


Joan P. (Russo) Barrows, of Fair Lawn, NJ, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at age 62 of complications from COVID-19, in the presence of members of her family.  Born in Paterson, NJ she moved to Fair Lawn with her parents in 1961.  She was a 1977 graduate of Fair Lawn High School and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State College in 1981.  Joan spent most of her career working as an account services representative in the automobile dealer services division of ADP in Clifton, NJ.  After working there for approximately 23 years, she was forced to retire in 2007 due to Pulmonary Fibrosis.  In 2010, however, she received the miracle of a single lung transplant at a leading New York hospital.  She was determined to be a transplant survivor and she enjoyed more than eleven years of a normal active life against all of the odds. The determination on her part, unfortunately, was no match for the Coronavirus.

Joan was a loving, caring and generous person who was always there for anyone who needed her, and was known for her warmth, good-nature and humor. She supported a number of local and national charities.  Joan loved reading, enjoyed tending to her garden and a wide variety of arts and crafts.

Joan is survived by her husband, Thomas Barrows, a twin sister Jean M. Verga and husband Steven, a brother James A. Russo, Esq and wife Rose, a brother Alfonso V. Russo and wife Camille and nephews Steven R. Verga, MD, Thomas C. Verga and James J. Verga.

Cremation will be private.  Arrangements by Vander Plaat-Caggiano Funeral Home Inc. Anyone who knew Joan would agree that she was taken from us too soon and will be sorely missed.  The family will have a celebration of her life at some time in the future, and would greatly appreciate donations in Joan’s name to the American Lung Association, PO Box 756, Osceola, WI 54620 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

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Many people from our past have reached out to me to say how much you will be missed. You have touched so many lives in a positive way that there is a huge void in our lives with you gone. I promise to celebrate your life with a big party with all of our acquaintances over the years. So many good time to remember. I am struggling to move on knowing that I can't pick up the phone to call you for advice or just to chat and laugh about something that happened. Rest in peace my friend
Karen McGuirl
You were a pleasure to work with. Very kind and caring and funny. We had a great crew of people that worked well together and enjoyed each other. I am very sad that you are gone so young. However I am thrilled that your transplant allowed you to enjoy 11 years more of having a normal life. You will be missed by many and always thought of for the fun kind person you are. RIP Joan. Prayers for your family and friends Joan.
Shirley Puorro
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