March 20, 1920 – January 5, 2021
Edwina Joan Couture (nee Mason) was born the eldest of five children to Mable & Percy Mason on March 20th, 1920 in Surrey, England.
Joan left school at age 14 to train as a Nanny and then worked in a wire brush factory for a short time where she lost an eye. Her father passed away when she was 16 and Joan continued to live at home and work to help support the family.
In 1939 Joan was a 19 year old girl working in a knitting factory when war broke out in Europe. She then began work in a war factory making spark plugs for Spitfire engines. After months of 12 hr shifts to up war production the government allowed a half day off on Sundays.
Joan and a friend decided to climb Box Hill for an outing and discovered the Canadian Corps Base where she met and later married Sapper Gilles Couture of the Royal Canadian Engineers.
After the war, along with thousands of other war brides Joan and her two children came to Canada. Joan sailed on the Queen Mary arriving in Halifax at Pier 21 on July 4th, 1946.
After 4 difficult and homesick years in the Saint- Henri District of Montreal, Gilles sent his family back to England. Gilles’ plan to join his family in England changed when the outbreak of the Korean War prevented him from leaving the Army and his family returned to Vancouver, Canada. After a year they were posted to Griesbach Army Barracks in Edmonton and added two more children to their family.
After a medical discharge from the Armed Forces Joan and Gilles followed their 4 children to Campbell River where they settled permanently in June 1973.
It was in Campbell River where they enjoyed their retirement and helped care for their ever growing number of grandchildren. After Gilles death from Cancer in 1993, Joan lived independently until her late 90’s, spending her final years at Yuculta Lodge.
As a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother, Joan will always be remembered as an energetic, resilient, loving and generous matriarch.
She had a way of making everyone feel they mattered and cared for whether it was by baking their favourite dessert, knitting toys and baby clothes or attending a hockey game at the local rink.
Each person she has touched have fond memories of this remarkable woman whose legacy of kindness and generosity lives on through generations. “Grandma Joan” will be cherished and missed and forever be in our hearts.
Joan was survived by her sister Olive (who died January 6th, 2021), her brother Edwin, daughter Carol, sons Michael, Richard and David (Trudy). Grandchildren Peter, Sue, Tylere, Michelle, Jesse, Anne, Gillian, Leland, Derek and Shae.
Great grandchildren Bryan, Matthew, Maya, Nathan, Jaeden, Mason, Novah, Kamran, Alban, Genevieve, Benjamin, Arie, Daniel, Logan, Anna, Paxten, Payten, Kelby and Emme. Great great grandchildren Evan, Isla and Kaj.
She is predeceased by husband Gilles, brothers Pete and Bill and grandson Stephen.
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