Joan (Mary) Brown nee Heath passed away peacefully in her 88th year at Wellington Terrace Nursing Home on Friday, November 18, 2016. She is survived by her younger brother, David Heath of Cambridge, Ontario. With our father, Richard Brown, who died in January 2006, our family of five children, Mike, Jenny, Susan, Jim and Katie along with grandchildren and great grandchildren spent many happy family gatherings together. We remember her as the guiding matriarch of our family.
Our mother wore many hats in her lifetime – artist, wife, school teacher, mother, caregiver and once our father's sight became questionable, chauffeur. She entered into all these roles with vigour, humour and competency. Our mother dedicated many years to teaching in the primary grades. She never lost her excitement about teaching children to read and then helping them compose their own stories. Her imaginative and artistic approach brought much joy to her students. She worked at numerous schools including Myers Road and Dickie Settlement in the Cambridge (Galt) area. Then more locally over the years she was on staff at the Salem, Ponsonby, John Black and Arthur Elementary Schools. She loved bumping into her former students, of which there were many.
It could have been her experiences in England as a child during the war years or just her own personality that made her a practical, “get it done” person. But, she was able to persevere through relocating many times, changing workplaces, making new friends and meeting personal challenges with a calm and cheerful attitude. In later years, when her arthritis greatly limited her abilities, she often claimed she was “super duper”, if she just sat in her chair! Her smile could be mischievous at times but more often serene as she viewed the world with the strong anchor of her faith. She believed firmly that she would be reunited with her Richard and they would once again sit together, holding hands and observing their offspring!
Many thanks to the wonderful caregivers at the Wellington Terrace. Their understanding and professionalism through the past four years helped make Mom's days and nights more comfortable. We felt confident that she was getting the care she needed.
Mom was adamant about not having a funeral and we will honour her wishes. There will be a small, family memorial. Please offer condolences here and in lieu of flowers donation may be sent to Canadian Diabetes Association.