August 13th, 1916- July 17th, 2013
Joan died on July 17th just 4 weeks short of her 97h birthday from what she called the “ravages of old age,” though she assured us it was great fun getting there! Born in Norfolk, England, Joan spent most of her childhood near Leicester. She went to a dance with two of her friends where they met, believe it or not, Tom, Dick and Harry! Harry “stuck” and after a two-year courtship they were married for 63 years until his death in 2002. Joan and Harry immigrated to Canada with their five young children in 1952. They settled in Rossland – for the first few years, Joan was homesick and swore that she would never have come to “this damn country” had she’d known there was a “bear lurking behind every tree!” But she grew to love Canada (even its wildlife), proudly waving the flag at Canada Day parades and never missing an opportunity to cast her vote. They loved the Comox Valley where they retired in 1979. Naturalists at heart, Joan and Harry were avid birdwatchers and photographed and catalogued every wildflower in the area. They loved their many treks through the forests and along the beaches.
In mid-life Joan started dabbling with paints and became a good water colourist, especially in depicting flowers. She was thrilled to exhibit her works at the Spokane World’s Fair in 1974, along with her Trail art club. Joan was well read with an eclectic taste ranging from The Smithsonian, poetry, history to contemporary novels. A few days before she died, she attempted her last crossword puzzle.
Joan’s crowning achievement was the raising of her five children in whom she instilled a sense of honour, friendship and humour. Remembering her with love and laughter are Robert and Sandra Jackson, Pam and Ken Dobell, Stephanie and Rudy van Dyk, Christine Jackson and Michael and Carole Jackson, her nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, her brother and sister-in-law Owen and Mona Shephard and many extended family members. There will be no public memorial service; Joan’s family gathered in July to say their good byes. Joan supported many charities during her lifetime, but closest to her heart was the Comox Valley Hospice Society, 2137 Comox Avenue, Comox V9M 1P2.