It is with great sadness that we, as a family, announce that Joan passed away peacefully in her sleep on February 25, 2016 at Cerwydden Care Centre in Duncan, British Columbia. She is survived by her loving family: husband of 58 years, Erwin of Lake Cowichan, BC; son Mark of Prince Albert, SK; son Blake (Karen) and grand-daughter Kate Joan of Sherwood Park, AB; brothers Peter (Elaine), Wilfrid (Helen), George (Mary), sister Hilda and numerous nieces and nephews. Joan was predeceased by her parents Wilfrid Richard Nightingale and Florence Sarah Nightingale.
Joan was born in the county of East York which later became part of Toronto, Ontario, and moved with her parents to London, England when she was six. During WW II bombings of London she helped care for her younger siblings Peter, and Hilda when she and they were relocated to the countryside near Debenham. Soon afterwards, the family was reunited at Holymoorside near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. At age 14, Joan began work delivering mail as a post girl for a company called Robinson & Sons and later started attending night school to become a teacher.
Joan returned to Canada in the early 50’s, and accepted a teaching position at the school in Youbou, BC. Here she met Erwin, the love of her life, and they were married at a small Youbou church on August 17, 1957. They made their first home in Lake Cowichan, BC, but moved to England a few years later where Mark was born. In 1962, the family moved to Parkside, Saskatchewan where Joan taught school, and they then moved to Prince Albert, SK a few years later where Blake was born. Joan and Erwin raised their family in Prince Albert, and retired to Lake Cowichan in 1993.
Joan was a very gifted person. In Prince Albert, she re-entered the work-force when Mark and Blake were older, and held varied positions including a part-time librarian at a nursing college, a court reporter for social services where she utilized her short-hand skills, a part-time teacher and, lastly, head secretary at the provincial correctional centre. While working, Joan took correspondence classes along with some night school and, at age 54, received her Bachelor of Education degree with distinction from the University of Saskatchewan. Joan had an enthusiasm for life. She loved teaching, and exploring interests such as painting, pottery, weaving, sewing, rock-hounding, tai-chi, cooking, gardening, photography and travelling. In her late seventies she bought a computer, took classes and was soon sending e-mails and writing her memoirs. She valued education, and instilled this within her boys.
Above all, Joan was a kind and loving person who was always ready to help other people if she could. As a wife, and mother she was tops; a true gift to her family. The kindness of Christ was within her, and was poured out into the lives of those around her. Her gentle integrity was rooted in her faith which she modeled from an early age in providing a Christian influence at various times and places. When someone passed on, she would comment “it’s a closing of a door”. She will always be remembered and loved by her family and those who knew her. We will keep her door open.
The family gives special thanks to the staff at Cerwydden Care Centre, Duncan for their kind and compassionate care of Joan over the last four years. A private family service will be held for interment, and a celebration of life service will be held May 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm at the Youbou Community Church located at 10648 Youbou Road in Youbou, BC. A come and go time of visiting after the service will be available until 3:00 pm in the lower reception area in the church building. All who knew Joan, or who know the family, are invited to attend.
If desired, donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Cerwydden Care Centre, or charities of choice.