There is a lot to be said for a life well lived. Joan Elgie was a testament to that. With every breath, Joan lived life to the fullest, balancing the fulfilment of her own desires with the offer of friendship or a helping hand to anyone in need. This placed her among those epitomized by Booker T. Washington with his quote, so apropos and timely here: “Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others”
Joan passed away on Saturday, June 19, with her four sons, who are spread across the eastern part of the country, reunited once again, Bill (Debbie) of Sault Ste. Marie, Bob (Terri) of Gore Bay, Bradley (Nancy) of Thunder Bay and Michael of Halifax. Joan, who was in her 91st year, all of them spent in Sault Ste. Marie, is also survived by her sister and best friend, Barbara Millroy (Doug), sister-in-law Patricia Hamilton of Guelph, and adoring grandchildren Katy, Taylor, Billy, Melissa, Matt, Mark, Rachel, Alexandra and Andrew, and great grandchildren Ryder, Kellan Willy, Charlie, Gracie, Noah, Evelyn, Oliver and Euan. As well as her husband, Bill, Joan was predeceased by her parents, Harry and Pearl Stares, and her brother, Bob Stares (the late Avalon).
The essence of Joan was eloquently captured by her sister-in-law, Patricia, who said of her in an email, ”She was one wonderful gal with a magnetism and joy for life and generosity towards all people.” This was so true.
Joan had spent two months in Collegiate Heights earlier this year recuperating from surgery and was about to enter full-time residency there when it was discovered she had a terminal illness. The camaraderie in the retirement home had been right up Joan’s alley, allowing her free range in her desire for interplay and conversation, her hallmarks. Joan was certainly about service to others and enjoyed being with and supporting those who were facing struggles or illness in their lives. She enjoyed the company of people of all ages and was often visited by younger friends who enjoyed her friendship. As well, for years Joan had been the willing driver for her gradually diminishing group of friends, her license to drive and her car remaining proud and prized possessions as she entered her nineties. In earlier years Joan travelled, initially with her husband Bill and, after his passing, with a variety of friends, to multiple areas of the world while secure in the love of her family and that of her many friends, lifelong and new, here in the Sault.
The family would like to express our gratitude to the staff at Collegiate Heights who provided support and kindness to her during her two stays there. We also acknowledge the loving care that she received from the staff of 3C at Sault Area Hospital.
A celebration of Joan’s life will be held when travel becomes easier for family members from out of town.
In lieu of flowers, Joan’s family would appreciate donations (payable by cheque or online) to ARCH or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements entrusted to the Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington Street East 705-759-2522). Please visit www.arthurfuneralhome.com to leave a message of condolence as a keepsake for the family.