Joan passed away peacefully April 14 at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital at the age of 77. She will be deeply missed by her loving family including her husband Bob, son Doug Hollies and wife Pat; daughter Janet Dougans and husband Craig; grandchildren Nik, Ryanne, Jessica, Nolan, Kirsten, Laurel, and Marys; and brothers Harold Cox and wife Audrie and Jack Cox and wife Caroline. She was predeceased by her sister Islay Cox in 1997.
Lillian Joan Cox was born in Fairview, AB December 17, 1932, and grew up in Beaverlodge, AB. She attended the University of Alberta where she studied nursing, and met Bob and many of her lifelong friends. After graduating with a BSc in 1955, Joan worked as a public health nurse in northern Alberta for a year. In 1957, she married Bob and moved to Deep River, Ontario where they worked for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., she as a technician in the Reactor Physics branch, and he as a research engineer. She worked there until 1961, when she embarked on a new career as a full-time mother, Doug’s arrival followed quickly by Janet’s in 1962.
In 1963, Bob was transferred to AECL’s new research facility at Whiteshell, so Joan set up housekeeping in the brand new town of Pinawa, Manitoba, where her family grew up with the town. Joan was an integral part of the community, making friends with many of the town’s other founding families. She was an active member of the Pinawa Christian Fellowship, volunteered at the school and public libraries, and enjoyed playing bridge, curling, golf, cross country skiing, camping and canoe trips. Even when she contracted rheumatoid arthritis, the painful effects of which she battled the rest of her life, Joan remained positive, and as active as she could. She volunteered to teach literacy and ESL skills and edited a literacy newsletter.
In November 1991, Joan and Bob retired to Qualicum Beach, B.C., where they met many friends through the newcomer’s club, which has evolved into the 3rd Dimension. Joan was a dedicated member of Knox United Church in Parksville where she was inspired by the wonderful music and the Word of God. She kept her life-long involvement in community alive by hosting countless parties at her place for Wednesday Bridge Club and Scrabble Nights. She did so in spite of her acute physical challenges which saw her bounce back from numerous operations dealing with the joint afflictions from the arthritis.
The pioneer spirit and matriarchal instinct stayed alive in Joan for her entire life, moving from one life adventure to the next. She tracked the family histories and religiously stayed connected through Christmas Cards, Class Reunions, phone calls and visitations to the hundreds of people she encountered in the various station stops of her life. We, her family, would welcome any contribution in her name go to either the Canadian Arthritis Society or the Canadian Red Cross.
We welcome all to the Memorial Service at Knox United Church in Parksville on Monday May 3rd at 2pm, where we will be celebrating the life of a truly inspirational woman.