Celebration of life.
A celebration of Joan’s life will be held in the Saltcoats and District Community Hall commencing at 1:30 p.m. on July 16, 2022. The celebration will be followed by a lunch in the basement of the hall. Everyone wishing to attend will be welcome.
A listing of Joan and Rob’s relatives, for those who might wish to be reminded of family connections, will be posted on the funeral home website (www.ChristiesFuneralHome.com) at a later date (prior to July).
Joan Ardene Wilson (nee Halpenny): Memories and Legacy
Joan, 71 years of age, died peacefully November 24, 2021 in the Yorkton Regional Hospital.
She was born February 4th, 1950 in Eston, Saskatchewan to Willard and Maxine Halpenny (farmers in the Madison, Saskatchewan district).
Joan was a person of light. By this we, her family, mean that she often brightened spaces around her. Friends have stated: “Joan lit up the room”; “Joan was a spark of pure delight”; “Joan had an absolute twinkle and a smile”; “Joan’s love of life shone”; “Joan had a beautiful spirit”.
Joan had qualities that endeared her to some acquaintances. Below is a note received recently from a university friend of Joan:
“At university, Joan was in her social element. Never one to worry about her studies, she maximized her time charming everyone. That impish smile, ready laugh, clever wit, and meticulously feminine presentation was a magnet.
A story tells it all.
Joan had a wonderful roommate that everyone, including Joan, adored. One evening Joan convinced a friend to move everything from her roomie’s side of the dorm into the bathroom. Out went the bed, mattress, desk and chair. Home came her roommate, after a long night of perfecting her skills in curling, only to find - nothing!
Because of Joan’s sweet nature, there was only infectious giggling by all. The mirth was even greater during the restoration, while the roommate showered and relaxed.
The hilarity was Joan’s clever calling card. No one could resist her, as Rob was soon to learn.”
Joan created memories. Following are some comments we received: “Our lives were made better by Joan”; “Joan had a way of making a person’s day better with her smile and sense of humour”; “Joan made me feel like the most important person in the room”; “Joan holds a special place in my heart”; “Joan was fun to be with”; “My memories will always be of Joan’s funny stories she could tell but never told without acting.”
Joan shared her talents and skills. This note was sent to us by and kind caring friend, Gloria Rathgeber. It tells how we remember our Joan.
“I so admired Joan’s many artistic talents. She also loved the stage and was so able to get in character completely in addition to being so committed to the entire production and all that it entailed. I loved working with her. Joan’s love of nature and her tremendous knowledge of wild plants was also amazing. Joan was also the talented organizer, the curler and definitely the entertainer. She exuded a “joy of life” and feistiness but showed great compassion to those in need of a kind word and a gentle hug. Joan so willingly shared her talents and time in so many facets of community. She was a dear friend and I will miss her very much.”
Joan was frequently involved with community. Below is an article, taken from the June 05, 2013 edition of our local newspaper, the Four-Town Journal, regarding her receipt of an award. This article will tell you a little more about Joan.
Joan was a very active member of the (Saltcoats) community and was recently presented with the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal (SVM), becoming one of a very small group of individuals from throughout the province who have been awarded the medal over the past 18 years.
Wilson shares volunteer medal with her community
When a group met for the first time to organize a program to honour one of Saltcoats’ outstanding volunteers, one of the first names to come forward to chair the planning committee was that of Joan Wilson who has been a major part of community life for many years.
The only problem with that suggestion, however, was that Wilson – who everyone appreciated would do an excellent job organizing the event – was the one being honoured for being named one of eight 2013 recipients of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal.
On Monday, May 27, a large crowd filled the Stirling Room in the Saltcoats Town Office complex to congratulate Wilson on becoming one of an elite group of volunteers recognized by their community and their province for their dedication and commitment to help others.
MC for the program and a long-time friend of Joan and her husband Rob, (pre-dating the Wilson’s move to Saltcoats) Walter Farquharson, pointed out that in order to receive the SVM, a person must provide “without reward or gain, out-standing volunteer service or exceptional community involvement…”
“Joan is being honoured as a volunteer of volunteers and, certainly as a community builder.”
Referring to a recent tv program he had seen, Farquharson quoted the main character in the show. “Leadership is about submission to duty, not elevation to power”. Duty, he continued “…is a grateful response to being privileged to live in a community and to have abilities and opportunities to help shape that community.”
“Joan, you’ve provided exemplary leadership. You are, above all, a good friend, a community promoter, and a promoter of good causes.”
He went on to list Wilson’s many community involvements.
Mayor, Grant McCallum, noted the Wilsons’ initial involvements, upon their arrival in 1979, revolved around the activities of their two children Trent and Shevon, “…who surely have influenced your activities over the years if in no other way than shaping your schedule to strike that balance of commitment to family and community.”
“As a community we are so proud to have this great honour bestowed on Joan. We are so grateful to have benefited from this lovely lady’s commitments to the betterment of society through her seemingly unending proficient skills and talents. While others may have such abilities, very few so willingly offer them up. “We deeply thank you for sharing”.
Speaking on behalf of Melville-Saltcoats MLA Bob Bjornerud, Barry Dilts pointed out that a recent poll showed that 56 percent of Saskatchewan residents volunteered an average of 143 hours per year to various organizations and activities.
He noted that in a province of over one million people, “Joan is one of eight to receive that wonderful medal for her wonderful work.”
In response Wilson recalled in detail April 23, which was the day she received the Saskatchewan volunteer Medal from the province’s Lieutenant Governor, Vaughn Soloman Schofield at Government House.
Joan stated, “I do feel like I’ve won the lottery or have been in the right place at the right time.”
She acknowledged the roles the town and the committee appointed to submit nominations played in her receiving not only the SVM but also, last year, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.
Wilson said her involvements over the past 30 years in Saltcoats have evolved from her family’s activities, her own personal interests, education and curling; ”I want to thank all of the people I’ve worked with in all those different organizations, groups, town council and the school over the years”.
She particularly noted the school and its dedication to junior curling, which she has been a strong proponent of through the years as part of her enduring love of the sport. She regaled the audience with several stories of past curling activities and bonspiels.
“We are fortunate to have a strong community. I saw that as soon as I came here…There are so many volunteers, and so many who have strong leadership skills as I saw when I was on council and the health board.”
“There are many who share their skills, as evidenced by the many projects and many of the things that have happened around town.
“There are so many others who deserve medals…I hope you will share this medal with me as a testament to the strength of your skills, your volunteerism, and the strength of our community.
“Because I wouldn’t have received it, without you.”
The letters SVM, Wilson concluded, in her case, stand for “Saltcoats’ Vast Majority are volunteers”.
Joan built relationships and memories to be treasured. Through her initiatives and in support of community, Joan left legacies of her creativity through her paintings, her role as an actor, her pottery, and her participation in the creation of signs and murals still to be found in diverse locations within Saltcoats.”
Rob, Shevon, and Trent loved Joan. We are grateful that she was wife (50 years), partner and mother.
We are also grateful to many who reached out offering love, care and support; particularly during the two year decline of Joan’s health and throughout the difficult time following her death.
Deserving of a special mention are the wonderful health care givers encountered in Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton and Saltcoats. They were essential to our efforts to maintain a good quality of life in our home, for Joan and our family, throughout the months that Joan required care.
All additional details and updates may be found on the website of the Christies’ Funeral Home. https://www.christiesfuneralhome.com