On July 12, 2022, at Peace Arch Hospital, White Rock, BC. Joan Margaret Smith peacefully passed just before her 91st birthday. Joan was born in Cannock, England July 23, 1931.
She is immensely missed by her family who will forever hold dear their memories of great laughs, intelligent conversation and bonding moments with their Mom and Nana whose dedication for her family was unsurpassed. Joan is survived by her children; Anita (Clark) of Vancouver, Sheila (Andre) of Sudbury, and Robin (Corinne) Chakrabarti of Vancouver and her grandchildren Jordan, Brydon, Luke and Maxwell. The family is grateful to have had the chance to be with her in the final weeks of her life. She was also survived by her nephew Peter Cartwright and his sons, Keith and Mark as well as her close life long friends Muriel, Doreen and Ray, all of Wolverhampton.
She was predeceased by her father and mother, John and Hilda Smith, her sister Doreen Cartwright, all from Wolverhampton, England and her best friend Aunt Joan Rydings (Uncle Ernie) of Chester, England.
Joan was proud of her British heritage having grown up in Tettenhall Wood, England during WWII and that historic event shaped her resilient and resolute character along with her independent mindset. Joan’s passion for helping others led her into a nursing career which she began by training as a nurse at the Royal Hospital in Wolverhampton at the age of eighteen.
After working and completing midwifery training at the Royal Hospital in Wolverhampton, Joan went on to work at the Dreadnought Seafarer’s Hospital in Greenwich, London and then set off to see more of the world with a posting at the Columbian Presbyterian Hospital in New York. She then found a new home in Canada with time spent in Kingston (Seely’s Bay) Ontario, Winnipeg, Brandon, Selkirk, Manitoba finally settling in Barrie, Ontario. Joan stayed in contact with the nurses of her ‘second family’ throughout her life, with whom she shared some of her happiest memories. Joan always loved being a nurse and raised her children with a well-founded pride in her “noble profession”.
Joan raised her three children in Barrie with a strong love of Canada, respect for England, a passion for reading and intellectual pursuits, and love of sports and music, encouraging them to participate in a wide range of activities and community organizations. She saw to it that her children had every opportunity to travel, learn, and be exposed to all the world has to offer.
Joan fell in love with British Columbia on a trip to Expo’86, later following her family out west in 2006 with a relocation to White Rock, BC. With the temperate weather, the flowers,
the geography, and a culture that reminded her of England, it was the perfect compliment to being close to her grandchildren in BC. She was able to be involved in their lives and help mould them into young men. There was nothing more important to Joan than the time that she spent with her grandsons, Jordan, Brydon, Luke, and Max.
Joan loved returning to Ontario to visit Sheila, Andre and their cat Jovi in Sudbury. Their home provided her with a relaxing environment, an opportunity to garden, and time to enjoy valued moments with Sheila and Andre who she thought of as “her angels”.
Joan was proud of her children’s accomplishments and that her love of reading, learning, sports and music carried into her children and grandchildren. Joan had a strong relationship and respect for her daughter-in-law Corinne who was the rock that was always there when there were difficulties and Joan needed help. As Joan aged, Corinne was always willing to patiently lend a hand and save the day. Joan had frequent conversations with her sons-in-law; Clark, whose experience and ability to speak frankly helped her at important points in her later years, and Andre, whose company was always welcomed and appreciated when he came to visit and help when mom needed it.
Joan was an exceptional person. Against many odds she created an extraordinary life for herself and for her family. Her dedication to her family, her strength of character, and her intelligence, made her a strong role model for her extended family
Thank you to Paul and Mary Lou Wessenger important friends and advisors at pivotal moments; health care professionals, independent, private and public; the doctors, nurses and staff at Peace Arch Hospital, especially those on 6 North; and Dr. W. Spangehl who took great care of Joan over many years.
Last summer Joan was able to celebrate her 90th birthday with her family, when she was able to appreciate all that had happened in her wonderful and long life and to see and cherish all that she had created. Joan’s dedication to life, love and family lives on in each of her children and grandchildren.
The cremation will take place at Victory Memorial Park Funeral Centre in White Rock, BC. A celebration of her life will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to BC SPCA, Peace Arch Hospital, Covenant House, or the charity of your choice.