It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joanne Carol Stevens (nee Jolley) on August 8, 2023 at the age of 89. Joanne is survived by her husband of 63 years Philip Ronald Stevens, and her three children Dave (Colleen), Rob (Barb) and Lynn (Sean) and her 8 grandchildren Zackary, Carter, Claire, Dylan, Rebecca, Fiona, Hailey and Lucas. In 1933 the Toronto-based Crown Life Insurance Company decided to expand their business in Cuba, so they sent Bill Jolley and his wife Marea to Havana to open up an office. Daughter Joanne was born there in 1934. Following Cuban practise, the baby was looked after mainly by a Cuban nursemaid, so that by age 2 Joanne spoke Spanish more than English. In 1936 political turmoil led to closing of the Crown Life office and expulsion of the Canadian staff. Back in
Toronto Joanne was suddenly surrounded by English speakers and sadly quickly lost all her Spanish. Joanne was then raised in Toronto with her twin sisters Pat Bell and Susan Brassington. In 1969 Joanne and Phil and their young family moved to Ottawa. Joanne loved her family, especially spending summers with them at the family cottage on Lake Boshkung. She was a strong and calming presence in the Stevens home who was always there for her family with a smile. One of her favourite pastimes was reading and she spent hours reading books of all types. Joanne instilled a love of nature and the outdoors in her children. Taking her children to the NCC parks like the Arboretum and Hogs back, as well as the Gatineau’s was something she loved to do. She taught them to explore and experience things in the world around you, and around the world. She also liked to laugh and could be coaxed into an almost uncontrollable fit of laughter with tears streaming down her face. Good times.
Joanne will be remembered by her family and friends at her Celebration of Life that will take place at the Pinecrest Visitation Centre, 2500 Baseline Road on Friday, October 27, 2023 between 2:00 -4:00 p.m. Words of remembrance at 3:00 p.m.