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Joan Craik

August 7th, 1932 - October 23rd, 2022
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Joan Elizabeth Craik

August 7, 1932 – October 23, 2022 

Joan or “Joanie”, as she was known to her family and many of her friends, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on August 7, 1932. 

She was the only child of an Irish father and English mother who came to Canada in the early 1920’s and had Joanie later in life. Joanie had a happy childhood growing up in Winnipeg with her mother staying home to raise her while her father worked as a salesman in the Winnipeg area. 

Tragically her mother passed away from a brain tumor when Joanie was only 9 years old. She was raised by her father Leonard Patton, who had help from Joanie’s girlfriends’ mothers and her Aunt Edith (Edie) who was her mother’s sister from England. Joanie always mentioned her close relationship with her father; he would always come home from work and prepare an early dinner with her before continuing with his sales calls late into the evening. 

Joanie wanted to enroll in nursing school but at Aunt Edie’s urging (and financial backing) she took a business course. Aunt Edie thought this would get her out working and earning a living sooner. Aunt Edie was a mother figure to Joanie, and they remained close even after Joanie left Winnipeg. When Aunt Edie’s health failed, Joanie and her husband Joe moved Edie to Vancouver and cared for her until her death.

 Joanie continued to live in the same childhood apartment until Leonard’s passing in 1954 at the age of 78. Soon after her father’s passing Joanie and her school friend Dorothy decided to go on an adventure and see what life could bring them in Vancouver, BC. Joanie met Edie and Rita soon after arriving in Vancouver and her friendships with these three girlfriends would last for decades even after they all married, had children, and moved away.  Dorothy to this day remains Joanie’s oldest and closest friend.

 In 1955 Joanie went on a blind date arranged by Dorothy and Ed Lyons (a man Dorothy was dating and would later marry) with a young handsome fellow named Joseph (Joe) who Ed knew from the Navy. Joe was working for The Bank of Nova Scotia and was sent to work in Vernon for a while not long after they met. It must have been love at first sight as Joe proposed to Joanie in a letter. They were soon married on June 30th, 1956. This was the beginning of 47 wonderful years together.

 Joe was the oldest of 7 children and it was so special for Joanie that his large family adopted her into their fold.  Family was so important to Joanie, and she loved having Joe’s siblings as well as his mother Laura in her life, especially the surviving in-laws Gordie, Joanie, Theresa and David.

When Joanie and Joe met, Joanie worked for Union Steamship in Gastown, Vancouver. After they were married Joanie worked for General Motors Finance and said she was paid more than Joe. She was proud of that.

 The next year Joe and Joanie welcomed their first child, Susan in December of 1957. Susan remembers being told that her Mom continued working at GM but that she cried so much and kept the new parents up that Joe couldn’t take it anymore and asked Joanie to quit her job. Joanie remained a stay-at-home Mom for many years. Michael followed in September of 1960 and then Jeffrey in March of 1962.

 Joe and Joanie decided it was time to buy their first home which was purchased in North Delta, BC in 1961.The family spent the next 9 years living happily there. It was a newly built neighborhood with lots of young families and many lasting relationships were formed with the Naismith, McLeod, Mehayden, Peatty, Ousey, Healy, and many other families.

 In 1970 Joe’s job took the family to Calgary, Alberta. Joanie was a self-described “joiner” and having more time on her hands as the children were older, she tried her hand at new things regularly - from horseback riding lessons, skiing, yoga, bridge, volunteering for Welcome Wagon to many other activities. Joanie was very busy in those years. Two activities she began in Calgary were golfing and curling. They were two of her favorite things which she and Joe did together for the next 35 years.

 After almost 7 years in Calgary Joe’s job took the family back to Vancouver where they settled in Richmond, BC. They spent time in the 1980’s and 1990’s sailing the West Coast waters on Joe’s boat ‘The Mistress’. Many vacations were spent on the boat and they were often joined by Susan. Another regular crew member was Marg Train. Marg worked with Joe and became a very close family friend.  Marg and Joanie grew even closer after Joe died and had a long-standing tradition of spending New Years Eve together.

 In 1985 Joe and Joanie welcomed their first grandchild Jason, followed by Jaymi in 1987 and Matthew and Greg in 1991. Their grandkids were all a source of great pride as they watched many games of baseball, school plays, concerts, and other activities the grandkids participated in. The grandkids called Joanie “Granny” and “Gramma” at Joe’s urging as he thought it was humorous. Joanie and Joe lived with Michael and his family for the first year of Matt and Greg’s lives to help with the babies as their mother had health issues and having twins was a lot of work.

Joanie worked some part-time jobs during the years in Richmond as well as her many extracurricular activities before returning to work fulltime. She was employed by Nalleys Canada for over 10 years before retiring at 65 in 1997.

 In 1998 Joe and Joan moved to Langley, BC which remained Joanie’s home until her passing. It was there that she started her volunteer career at Langley Memorial Hospital which would continue for more than 20 years. It was here that she met her good friend Denyse.

 Sadly, after a long valiant fight, Joe succumbed to cancer in late 2003. Although Joanie was shattered with her loss she moved onto the next chapter of her life with grace and bravery. She remained independent and busy in her new life spending time with her children, grandchildren and many friends. Up to her mid-eighties Joanie was still doing her favorite activities - curling at the Langley Curling Club, golfing in the Poppy Estate Ladies League, Friday nights at the Legion, Red Hat Ladies events, card playing at the Langley Seniors Centre, and spending time with friends. She was a very social person and had many good friends including Sandy, Shirley, Jenny, Chris, Margaret, and so many more (apologies to those that the family may have missed). Joanie was always very good at all kinds of games.  And surprisingly competitive. 

During her later years Joanie’s activities were somewhat curtailed like a lot of us by the pandemic. It was difficult at times for her to deal with the loss of her social activities and connections, but she kept a brave face and kept busy. Joanie always liked to keep her brain sharp with daily crosswords, Sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles. She always had a puzzle going.

 In her 88th year Joanie was thrilled to welcome her first great grandchild Parker to parents Matthew and Jessica.  It was an exciting time for her, and she enjoyed seeing him as much as possible.

 As things opened up and returned to a more ‘normal’ world Joanie started to interact once again in some prior social activities - card playing at the Seniors Centre and venturing out with her Red Hats Ladies group.  Another favorite activity was going to various ball parks to watch Matt and Greg’s team play baseball.

 Mom did slow down mentally and physically during the pandemic due to the isolation but was still remarkably healthy at 90. She lived in her own home, still drove, cooked for herself (although she loved that Mike and his wife Antoinette came over 2 or 3 times a week and brought dinner) and managed her own finances. She walked slowly and liked to use her stick, as she called her walking pole, but with excellent posture.

 It was such a damn shame that Mom contracted Covid after getting her 4 vaccine shots and after the family worked so hard to protect her for so long. Mom mostly recovered from Covid but was left so weakened, she just couldn’t overcome it. To the end, Mom didn’t complain; she even made a joke or two and was a trooper.  She died in hospital with her family at her side.

 We children were fortunate to have a calm, caring mother who was always there when we needed her.  She was one of the most accepting, non-judgmental people. She lived by the motto “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything.”  She will never be forgotten and will be so greatly missed. We love you Mom, Granny, Gramma.


Gordie Craik
November 26th, 2022

In April of 1958 a friend and I decided to visit Joe and that is when I met Joan for the first time. I stayed in Vancouver that summer before joining the RCAF. I did not see Joe and Joan again until the summer of 1969. For the next two years my wife and family visited occasionally until we moved to Kamloops.

Over the next 30 years our families continued to visit back and forth. During these years we would go golfing and curling. Joan really enjoyed golfing and curling. After Joe passed she came to Kamloops several times to watch the Canada Cup of curling. I enjoyed her visits. We often spoke over the phone and had many spirited discussions.

I will miss Joan and the good visits and conversations we had.

Gordie Craik
Brother in Law

Margaret Train
November 23rd, 2022

I have known Joanie for a very long time. She was special and very social. She loved life and made friends with everyone she met. She was not only your friend, she was your best friend.

Joanie loved and was very proud of her family and thankful for the assistance they gave her when she needed it.

She will be missed by everyone who knew her. She was taken away too soon.

Whist club
November 18th, 2022

All of us at whist would like express our sincere condolences to the family. We had the privilege of enjoying playing cards every Thursday with Joan and miss her smile. It was quite a shock to hear of her passing.

The Lee and Lyons familie
November 7th, 2022

What a terrible loss. So many of our most cherished and lifelong memories recollect Joan... and of course Joe and the kids. Always one of the best, she will be greatly missed. We hope all the shared memories will help comfort and carry the family through this difficult time.

With much love,

The Lee and Lyons families

David Mackenzie
November 7th, 2022

Wouldn't it be a peaceful place if everybody was kind and easy going like
Joan. Our visits were few and far between because we lived so far away from each other, but always enjoyed her company when we had a chance to get together. Condolences to the family, she will be missed by everybody who knew her. RIP Joan

Brian and Christine Dowli
November 5th, 2022

Recently we attended Joanie's 90th birthday lunch. It was fun and great to catch up. We remember fondly how welcoming she and Joe were when we started curling in Richmond. As newbie's they taught us a lot and got us invested in the game. Joanie was always encouraging and smiling no matter the score or situation. When I started golfing with her it was much the same. That she has a wonderful family is a reflection of her love and kindness.
She will be missed.
Brian and Chris Dowling

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