Much-loved Jo had a ‘real zest for life’

Joanne Smart, who sadly died in a car crash in Cardiff at the age of 36
Joanne Smart, who sadly died in a car crash in Cardiff at the age of 36

The heartbroken family of a much-loved former Banbury woman who died in a car accident in Wales has paid warm tributes to her.

Joanne ‘Jo’ Smart died in Cardiff on July 20, where she had been living for the past eight years.

The 36-year-old’s devastated family said she ‘always lived life to the full’.

Her mother Barbara Richardson and stepfather Glenn Richardson, of Winchelsea Close, Banbury, said: “She had a real zest for life and didn’t do anything by halves. She will be very sadly missed.”

Jo was working as a personal assistant at Cardiff University. Before that the former Kineton High School student had been in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as a civilian radio operator for about seven years.

Her friend Stephen Brady said: “She literally did see the world and she loved the sea; there weren’t many continents she hadn’t been to.”

She had also previously worked as a receptionist at Gem Tool Hire in Banbury and The Deddington Arms.

Her mother said: “There was nothing she liked more than to spend time with her family, especially her sisters Amy and Laura and her friends Claire, Patrick, Stephen and Menna.”

The family is originally from County Durham and her stepfather described her as playing an active part in three communities; Cardiff, Banbury and County Durham.

She was due to turn 37 on Saturday, July 26 and had organised a big party in Cardiff. The party still went ahead with friends and family from across the country gathering to remember her.

Her funeral service will take place in Seaham Church, Seaham Harbour, County Durham at 1pm on Tuesday, August 5.