It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to our beloved Joanna Woodhouse of Kanata Ontario, loving wife of husband David for 58 years, sister of Doreen, aunt of Kathryn, Laura, and Simon; and mother of Paul, Mandy and Michael.
Born in Brazil, daughter of Eva and Eric, an Anglican Minister, mum enjoyed a unique childhood complete with pet monkeys, parrots, snakes, and tropical adventures we can only dream of. Exotic tales of Carnival, her family's missionary expoits, and living in Rio during World War II were never far away. Mum left her native home at the tender age of 17, residing in the UK for a few years until finally settling in Montreal Canada in 1963. Shortly thereafter she met future husband David at a Valentine's dance - for young people reading this, consider it an olde-timey version of Tinder. Marriage and children Paul, Mandy and Michael followed shortly thereafter.
Anyone who knew mum would describe her as outgoing, gregarious, relentlessly social and possessed of a rapier wit. If she had an opinion, rest assured you would hear it. She was fearless and take-charge in most everything she did. She joined a writing club and became disenchanted with its leader; what to do? Found her own writing club, of course! She grew frustrated at the lack of arts and culture in Cape Breton; what to do? Create her own theater troupe of course! ...and produce, stage manage and direct their first show. Of course. The fact she had never done any of this before was but a piffle, in the same way her austere knowledge of the French language did not discourage her from hosting bilingual Tupperware parties in Montreal back in the day.
To say that mum was multi-talented is an understatement. Self-taught soapstone carver, author (alas unpublished), decoupage artist, poet, painter, playwright, and petit-pointist are just some of the hats mum wore. She could solve any crossword puzzle. She could sing and play guitar. She could whip anyone at Super Mario World. And she was a diabolicalcardshark, mercilessly crushing elite Bridge players and stealing their Masterpoints leaving them bewildered and wondering what the hell just happened.
Mum's collections were legion; no knick-knack was safe from her. Souvenier spoons, thimble glasses, salt and pepper shakers, decorative plates, Wedgewood figurines, Hummel monks, cork-stopper figurines and more were acquired in alarming quantities. Suffice it to say that, if you were a merchant selling kitschy items, your bottom line was about to get a whole lot better when she entered your store. She bought so many Chatty Cathy dolls that she and husband David became a dab hand at doll restoration, spawning its own profitable doll refurbishment business.
Mum adored travelling to England, spending time with her beloved friends and landlords Richard and Julie in Canterbury to whom we are so grateful for their time spent with mum, touring her in France and assisting with her day to day. But out of all the things in this world, mum loved her family more than all else combined and was never more content when her family was around her. Her personality would fill any room to capacity and produced more joyful memories than can be counted in one lifetime.
Mum was plagued by health problems for most of her life but as with everything else, she fearlessly soldiered on, with dad's tireless help and support. Countless times she was at death's door and each time she rebounded, defying all odds, until finally succumbing on February 1, 2023. A rich vein has passed out of our lives, but we are grateful for
the time mum was with us and are comforted by the knowledge that she is finally free from her physical ailments. We love you, mum.