Joan Mary Ritchie (Flaherty)

July 9, 1932 – January 20, 2016

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Joan Ritchie on January 20, 2016. Joan was born and grew up in Hamilton, Ontario and received her teaching certificate from normal school in the 1950s. Growing up, Joan was a CGIT camp counsellor, a Sunday school teacher, the top student in her grade and a big sister to Bob and Garry. In 1967 Joan moved with her family to Campbell River. She loved to tell the story of how the family lived in their Apache tent trailer while the home at Shelter Point was being completed. Joan taught grades two and three at Discovery Passage, Maple and Ocean Grove schools for over 30 years. Committed to her profession, Joan spent late nights marking and long hours at summer school working towards her degree. It was a common occurrence to be stopped by former students of Joan’s and be told that she was their favorite teacher.

The most important things in Joan’s life were her husband Stan, her children (Dave (and Lori), Leslie (and Dave) and Glen (and Jennifer)), her grandchildren (Brandon, Mercedes, Kelsey, Madisson, Landon and Taryn), her students and of course her beloved Westies. Her grandchildren remember playing-hide-and-seek, sliding down the chalk board and eating Fruit Loops at Grandma’s, a home that was always open and welcoming.

Joan spent her retirement on exotic cruises with Stan and their friends, enjoying her home and garden and golfing with the ladies. Not a big fan of stress, Joan kept her golf score simple: a smiley face marked a good hole, a sad face indicated a not-so-good hole. During her final years she was surrounded by the phenomenal team of Connie, Lisa, Ingrid and Amanda; women who loved, respected and cared for Joan as if she was their own. She was also blessed to have true blue friends and neighbours who continued their relationships during difficult times.

Joan will be remembered as a kind, thoughtful, intelligent wife, mother, grandmother and friend who never complained and who possessed unlimited concern and compassion for others. Joan will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

(A private family service will be held at Joan’s request).

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