Joanne “Joey” Elizabeth Murdoch, wife, mother, sister, friend, nurse, volunteer, private pilot and travel lover passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 after a hard-fought, 15 year battle with cancer.
She is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, James Robert (Bob) Murdoch and her two daughters, Brenda (Mike) and Shelley. She is also survived by her younger sister, Patricia, brother-in-law, Allan (Kathy), sisters-in-law, Doreen, Wendy and Debbie (Michael). She was predeceased by her parents Edward and Hannah (Annie) Braun, mother/father-in-law, Doris and Len Murdoch, stepmother, Ida Braun, sister-in-law, Enola Howe and brother-in-law George Starheim. She will be missed by her many friends and her cookie-loving grandpuppies, Max, Molly and Gaby.
Joanne will be remembered for her caring personality and warm smile that made her an excellent nurse. She could start up conversations with strangers with ease and was a lifelong volunteer. She was a whiz at Scrabble, crosswords and Jeopardy and never passed up an opportunity to play cards. She loved to travel, going to faraway places like parts of Europe, Australia, Panama and Alaska. She also travelled with her two daughters to Alaska and Australia/New Zealand. She would willingly take any opportunity to go somewhere new. She enjoyed having coffee or lunch (usually a quesadilla) with friends, watching her beloved Toronto Blue Jays and other sports, Judge Judy and General Hospital. She was funny, social and incredibly stubborn and independent, all of which aided her in her fight against her cancer diagnosis. She was the most positive person throughout her journey.
Joanne was born on November 30, 1937 in Vancouver, BC to Edward and Hannah (Annie) Braun. Her younger sister, Patricia, joined the family a year later. Joanne spent her childhood years in Kelowna, BC and the family moved to Vernon while Joanne was in high school where she graduated from Vernon High School. While living in Vernon, Joanne and her sister helped their father build the family home from the ground up. Joanne worked for a year at Safeway after graduation before returning to complete grade 13. She then was admitted into nursing school at Royal Columbia Hospital the following year. She graduated as a registered nurse with her 1960 class, alongside her sister, Pat,
Joanne tells the story of how she bought her dream car, a white 1963 Austin Healey convertible with some assistance from her mother. Her father was under the impression the car was a more sensible Austin and was none too pleased with her purchase.
She met her husband, civil engineer James Robert (Bob) Murdoch in Port Alberni and eloped on Friday the 13th of September in 1963 in a beautiful red suit. Joanne was always a little unconventional. Bob and Joanne welcomed their first daughter, Brenda Eileen on April 15, 1965 and followed up with Shelley Ann on July 16, 1966. While the girls were young, the family moved to Toronto where Joanne’s husband was transferred with his company, Esso. The family settled in Scarborough, on a street with many other young families and established roots and friendships. Joanne kept herself busy raising the girls, lovingly volunteering at their school, organizing trips to the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Place, the Science Centre, trips that are fondly remembered by her children. When the girls got older, Joanne went back to work as a nurse in a pediatrician’s office. During these years, Bob explored his interest in flying airplanes, became a private pilot and the family owned a series of small planes. Some trips to visit extended family across Canada in these small planes ensued in 1973 and 1976 and Joanne’s interest in flying grew.
In 1979, Bob was transferred with Esso to Calgary, so the family pulled up roots and moved west to settle in Lake Bonavista, in the city’s southwest. The girls entered junior high school and Joanne went back to work as an opthalmogic assistant with a local eye surgeon and former classmate of her husband’s. During their years in Calgary, Joanne attained her private pilot’s license. She met many good friends in Calgary and valued her time spent playing bridge, golfing and occasional travels. In 1989, Bob was transferred to Edmonton. Their daughters had already moved out, so Joanne and Bob settled in south Edmonton for the last few years of his career. Bob retired in 1991 from Esso and they decided to move to Kelowna.
After settling in Kelowna, Joanne spent her time golfing, doing beautiful needlework, traveling and cultivating lasting friendships. She volunteered for the Terry Fox Runs in Kelowna, at a baby clinic, at the cancer centre and for a community theatre. She joined the YMCA and participated in many activities to keep active and healthy. This was especially important to her after her first cancer diagnosis in 2002.
Joanne fought a long, hard battle with her cancer and more times than not, came out the victor. Her resilience was remarkable and her strength legendary. She will be remembered for her fierce will to live her life on her own terms and will be missed by all the people she touched.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice, as Joanne was an avid donor to her causes. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 1 PM at the Springfield Funeral Home (2020 Springfield Rd, Kelowna, BC). Special thanks to the Central Okanagan Hospice-South for the wonderful care Joanne received and to Al, Kathy, Pat and Mavis for all their support during this difficult time.
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Service: Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 1 PM
Location: Springfield Funeral Home
The service for MURDOCH, Joanne “Joey” Elizabeth (Nee Braun) is scheduled for Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 1 PM . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.