"I am the storm..."
Our beloved daughter, sister, friend, and teammate, Lisa Belle VanCampen, left this world suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday, April 12, 2020, in Farmington, Utah.
Lisa was born to Chris and Noriko VanCampen, the third of four children and the middle sister, on July 2, 1996 in Salt Lake City. From the start, it was clear that Lisa was going to be something special, with her long baby toes, and the biggest baby in the family. We all knew she'd be tall. Lisa loved sleeping, and that only helped her to grow to her six foot tall stature.
As a child, Lisa always marched to the beat of her own drum. Inquisitive by nature, and infernally stubborn, she always looked for new things to learn, and never gave up when faced with a problem to solve. This led to her fascination for Egypt, and a love for all the beasts of the earth. She wanted to be a veterinarian.
Lisa Belle got her middle name from her great grandmother, "Grandma Smooch" as we all called her. Her name was Georgia Belle Jakeman Smith, and all the kids loved to go to her house. Because of this, Lisa has a soft spot in her heart for all elderly folk. Many is the time she'd comment "Look at that cute old man!" or want to go talk to a senior someone who caught her eye.
Lisa loves animals. From a very early age, she had a way with creatures. When Lisa was still very young, the family dog had a litter of puppies. One small puppy got overlooked or discarded somehow from the rest of the litter. When discovered, the puppy was frail, chill, and near death. Lisa sat for hours, with the puppy in her lap, stroking and warming the puppy until, at long last, it was warmed and revived and reunited with its mother. Lisa named the puppy "Faith."
She loved horses most of all. She had a beloved horse, "Tinkerbell," and Lisa loved to brush and groom and ride "Tink" and to participate in the 4-H activities and in the fair. When Tink passed away, Lisa was heartbroken. No doubt, one of the first things Lisa did was to take her friend Tink for a ride.
As she continued to grow and explore her life, she found an interest in basketball. In fifth grade, she won her school's free-throw shooting contest, and got to go to a city-wide competition. She played on a number of teams prior to high school, where she was actively involved in the Morgan High School Lady Trojans basketball program. She was an all-stater twice, and her team finished second in state her senior season. From there, she moved on to Snow College, where, as a Badger, she continued to improve and received an all-conference honor her second season. Upon finishing at Snow, she committed to Dixie College in St. George, where she started every game for two seasons, received all-conference honorable mention, and has her name in the Dixie record book in several places. She served her teammates as a Captain her senior year. And, after a difficult start academically, she, as is her way, fought back and achieved All-conference Academic Team honors her senior season.
Lisa loves and has a lot of respect and gratitude for the dozens of coaches and other people that helped develop her basketball talents, enabling her to become a successful collegiate athlete. Many, many individuals contributed to that achievement.
Basketball also enabled Lisa to obtain an Associates of Science Degree from Snow College, and a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Dixie State University. Lisa looked forward to continuing a lifetime of learning in her future career, and was just exploring all the opportunities open to her.
Lisa is tall. Over six feet tall. She reveled in it. She was proud of it. It gave her confidence. She hated shopping for jeans. She loved to wear high heels. One time she purposely wore 4" heels to church just to make her LDS bishop feel uncomfortable standing next to her. That's her sense of humor shining through. She has a great, dry, sly sense of humor.
Most of all, Lisa is just a really good person. She has a strong sense of justice and fair play. She can't tolerate the little guy being treated unfairly or getting the short end of the stick. She is compassionate, loving, caring and leaves a giant hole in a lot of lives as she moves on in her existence and experience. We know she is in a better place now, and she is needed there more than we need her here. We treasure our memories of Lisa, the short time we had with her, and count ourselves lucky and blessed to have known her. We celebrate her life, her accomplishments, her love and her friendship.
Due to current circumstance, at this time we are unable to hold a funeral and honor and respect her properly. Therefore, a family viewing will be held in Morgan, Utah with a graveside service for family only shortly thereafter. Circumstances permitting, we will hold a Celebration of Lisa's Life in July on Lisa's birthday. If not, we will do so as soon as is practicable thereafter. We hope you will hold her in your heart and treasure your memories and time with Lisa, and share them with us then. All will be invited and welcome to that event.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Walker Mortuary in Morgan, Utah. We ask that, in lieu of flowers, you consider a contribution in Lisa's name to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT. Lisa loves that place, had planned an internship there, and adopted her special best friend Kida the Dog from Best Friends. Kida was a treasure for Lisa, and helped her a lot. A fundraiser in her name has been established here: https://support.bestfriends.org/site/TR/Events/General?px=3399160&pg=personal&fr_id=1480#.XpXkIeXJxPk.twitter
Lisa met in heaven her Grandma Smooch, great-grandfather Ben Smith, Great-grandparents Helen and "Van" VanCampen, Grandpa Harvey, and her maternal grandparents Kazuo and Fumiko Yoneda. She leaves in this mortal existence her mom and dad, Noriko and Chris, her siblings Ben, Ayana and husband Andrew, Aimee and Elliott, paternal grandmother Jan "Grandma Horse" Wheelwright and grandfather "Grandpa Dave," Uncle Joel and Aunt Kathleen, Uncle Yuji and Aunt Mako, Cousin Hiroki, Cousin Alivia, and a host of other loving, supporting and wonderful relatives, friends and teammates. She also leaves the love of her life, Jordan Williams, and his parents Stefanie and Wes, who loved and supported Lisa in incalculable ways and to whom we are forever grateful. We all look forward to the day when we can meet Lisa again, give her a big hug, and tell her how much we missed her.