The Parksville community is richer for having known her.
Joan LeMoine, who on her 90th birthday in July received the key to the city, died on Friday. She will be missed in so many ways.
LeMoine raised money for many charities and causes, notably getting her head shaved for the Cops For Cancer Tour de Rock.
She received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, the Community Ambassador Award from the City of Parksville in 2013 and the Medal of Good Citizenship in 2016.
She was also active with the Oceanside Community Safety Keeping in Touch program and the Mount Arrowsmith Branch 49 of the Royal Canadian Legion.
We had her on our PQBeat podcast in the summer and asked her why she kept volunteering into her 90s.
“It’s what we were taught to do, Mom and Dad always helped every- body along the way, everybody,” she said. “It was no such thing as ‘no, I can’t do that’ or ‘no, we won’t do that.’”
Such a wonderful message. Such a wonderful spirit.
“Joan LeMoine loved Parksville and cared greatly for the people of Parksville,” read a release from the city after her passing. “She was a positive force in the world, the consummate volunteer, generous with her time and endless energy.”
When asked if she had advice for people to live a long and happy life, Joan was very matter-of-fact.
“Just get up and enjoy the day because you don’t get it back again.”
She’s so right.
Joan’s daughter, Lise Schulze, said: “Volunteering was her way of giving back to life.”
“She loved living so very dearly,” said Schulze. “Living. Joan, my amazing mother, loved living. Being alive was her favourite thing. And if she could help others feel good about being alive then by golly she’d do what ever it took.”
Even after the loss of her husband, Joan continued to volunteer, redoubling her efforts.
Schulze put it so well: “Parksville got to be the lucky recipient of her incredible life force.”
Anyone who had a chance to work or volunteer alongside Joan seemed to share the same sentiments.
“She was a force to be reckoned with when she believed in a cause,” said Allison Roberts, who met Joan while riding in the Tour de Rock in 2018.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, gathering for a proper celebration of Joan’s life isn’t possible at this time.
But she won’t be forgotten.
Once we finally begin a return to normalcy, we’re sure the powers that be will see fit to honour her.
And it will be more than well-deserved.
Rest in peace, Joan.