DAWSON, Alice Joyce
November 23, 1933 — February 7, 2023
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Alice Joyce Dawson, who was born on November 23, 1933, at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Joyce was the daughter of Lillian Maud Joynson and Joseph Adrian Thibodeau and was their only child.
Growing up, Joyce attended Laura Secord Elementary School, Templeton Junior High, and Crofton House Boarding School, where she completed grades 9-11. Afterward, Joyce decided to travel to Italy and Switzerland via the SS Andrea Doria to live and work abroad. During her time in Italy, she worked at a hospital in Bellinzona (Ospedale Giovanni) for 7-8 months. But, when an opportunity to attend nursing school didn’t arise as she had hoped, she travelled to Lugano, Switzerland to study French and Italian. To this day, Joyce would always ask to see photos or google map street views of all the locations she stayed or visited. The smile on her face (as she scrolled through the places and photos of where her travels brought her) will last forever in our minds. Concerned about the possibility of war breaking out, Joyce returned home at the behest of her father. Once she returned, Joyce attended Shurpass Pacific College to finish her education.
Joyce worked as a telephone operator for the BC Telephone Company before attending hairdressing school. After finishing hairdressing school, she had the opportunity to work at the Caroline Beauty Salon, where she continued to work until her marriage to Ken Dawson in January 1956. After moving to Prince George and giving birth to her last child, Joyce once again re-entered the workforce as a nursing aide at Prince George Regional Hospital, eventually becoming a Health Records Technician. During this time, Joyce was also an active representative for the Hospital Employees Union, where she served several terms on the Provincial Executive. Joyce retired in 1998 after many years of dedicated service, and along the way building friendships that would last for the rest of her life.
To quote her friend Sonja, “She was always a force to be respected. Her voice carried far in her values, as well as in volume. She was well-known to many. Joyce’s delight was in recruiting new shop stewards and encouraging many of us to be involved in politics, fairness in the workplace, and equality for women. Her leadership is still resonating to this day.”
The most important thing to Joyce was her family and friends, who meant the world to her as she did to all of us. Joyce was a loving and devoted woman who always put the needs of others before her own.
She carried with her a passion for gardening; Loved reading, puzzles, camping, dogs, walking, and sightseeing, along with warm sunny days. Joyce also loved sitting down with friends or family over coffee to chat, watch sports, or play card games.
After the passing of her Husband Ken Dawson in 2018, Joyce, with the help of her family, moved to Kelowna, BC to be closer to her family who lived in the Okanagan & Lower Mainland.
One of her favourite things to do when she moved to Kelowna was to be outside, walking the boardwalk along the water to take in the views. She absolutely loved how early the flowers would bloom, so much that she always took out her phone to snap photos of every flower she saw blooming or that was in full bloom. These little things always put a smile on her face, which in turn put a smile on ours. She loved that feeling of the hot sun on her face. Another one of her favourite things was sitting outside in the sun at her favourite coffee shop, people-watching, sipping her coffee, and taking in beautiful days.
Staying true to who she was, one of the most wonderful things she would do on her walks was to stop and talk with the homeless and listen to their stories, often bringing them food or handing out $5 or $10 bills, she carried with her so much love and compassion everywhere she went.
Joyce had the most infectious smile and laugh, and was always there to listen and offer support, teaching us all the importance of love, kindness, and selflessness while living her life with such grace and dignity.
While we are all heartbroken and sad that we have lost the most wonderful person, we are so grateful and thankful to have shared so many treasured memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Joyce is survived by her children Lori Bradshaw, Wayne Dawson, Elaine Boomhower, Bruce (Bernadette) Dawson, Keyra Skye, and Sandra Dawson; grandchildren Ryan (Sarah) Lestage, Cassandra Dawson, Rory Dawson, Lisa Boomhower, Myles Boomhower, Vanessa Belcourt, Ivy McNabb, and Amy McNabb; and her cousin Karen. Joyce was predeceased by her husband Ken Dawson (d. 2018); grandsons Al “Rocky” Lestage (d. 2001) and Eric Bradshaw (d. 2021); parents Lillian (d. 1987) and Joseph (d. 1959); grandmother Alice “Nana” (d. 1978); grandfather John (d 1912); and cousin Jack (Barb) Joynson.
As an expression of sympathy, sending flowers is welcome. Memorial donations may be sent to the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank, cofoodbank.com, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, kelownagospelmission.ca, or a homeless outreach initiative of your choice.
A Funeral Service will take place, with Kim Bergstrom officiating, on March 19th at 1:00 PM, at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. IF YOU WISH TO ATTEND, PLEASE REGISTER (click the direct link below). If you are unable to attend in person, please join the family online by Livestream at the time of the service (see below), a recording will be made available to view shortly thereafter.
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The service for DAWSON, Alice Joyce is scheduled for March 19, 2023 at 1:00 PM. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.