Cover photo for Joyce Alice Macdonald's Obituary
1931 Joyce Alice 2024

Joyce Alice Macdonald

March 21, 1931 — March 29, 2024

Joyce Alice Pitre Macdonald, Obituary

Joyce passed away peacefully at the Ottawa General Hospital in the early morning hours of March 29th, 2024. She was with Dianne in her last moments, holding her hand and hugging her, and Romeo close by. She was well-cared-for during the last few days of her life by the compassionate doctors, nurses and specialists at the hospital, who did what they could to repair her broken bone sustained in the fall and manage the resulting complications. In the end, she chose to make this her exit, and slipped away rather quickly after just 4 days. She didn’t like hospitals.

Joyce lived a full life in her 93 years on this planet and maintained an optimistic attitude and a sense of humour right up till the end. Just before she went into surgery, she joked with the orthopaedic surgeon, who explained the procedure to her, that they were all talking too much, and she needed to get this done so she could “get out of here and go home”. And that’s exactly what she did.

Her life was highlighted by her marriage to George Macdonald in 1954, (who passed away in 2003) and the 3 children they had together: Dianne (Romeo), Gordon (Carol), and Douglas (Doris and Faye; Doug passed away in 2017). George and Joyce raised their family on Windcrest Ave. in Pointe Claire, Quebec, next to a host of wonderful neighbours including the Chartiers, the Rowes and the Paquins, that all made living on the street a memorable experience.

From her teen years onward, Joyce spent much of her life oil painting, usually still life or landscape compositions. She painted right up until macular degeneration made it so she couldn’t fully view the canvas anymore or read books, which was also her favourite pastime. She has left many beautiful paintings in her wake over the years. In her earlier years she sewed most of her own clothes and knitted for her children and grandchildren. She was proud to say she worked at the Northern Electric in Lachine. She was also proud of the many gardens she created for herself and her home, like the one in Aylmer, Quebec.

Joyce spent the later years of her life enjoying her grandchildren Kier and Maël, Justin and Jade, and the brief times she saw Josh as well. She was proud of them and always encouraging and supportive of their life’s path. Although she lived in another province from her younger sister, Pat Norris (Mike), she always took any opportunity to connect with her, the most recent being Christmas 2023 when they Facetimed together. Pat’s children Keith and Greg were always in her heart as well. She also stayed in touch and spoke often with her niece Cathie and her husband Wayne. She was connected with her cousin Doris Leroux (until she passed in 2015) and her niece Patricia Leroux in Montreal. She was still close to her cousin Pauline Lefebvre until her passing many years ago.

In her later years, she moved around more than most people her age, but always adapted well to each new place. In addition to moving from Pointe Claire to Fonthill and Prescott, Ontario with George, she moved to Ste Lazare after George passed away. From there, she

moved to Aylmer and then to Ottawa in 2016. She loved her home in Aylmer and her apartment in Ottawa. She loved walking to the bank and the grocery store every day. When she next moved to Mile End in Montreal on Hutchinson Street, she went to the café across the street for her morning coffee and found a grocery store and bank close by to continue the tradition. As she moved into residences, first in Lachine, then Beaconsfield and finally, Ottawa, the onset of dementia took Joyce in a direction none of us expected, especially given her early aspirations to become a nun. She seemed to return to her 20’s and her goal was finding love. She had a boyfriend, and later companions, with whom she would hold hands and let them know regularly that she loved them. She was happiest when she could sit beside a man and hold his hand.

Besides men, Joyce also loved eating. She was a regular at Lafleurs, where she’d get a hotdog and French fries. She also loved going to Chenoys in Dollard to get a smoked meat, or going for sushi, or getting ice cream in Ste. Anne de Bellvue. She loved having a full bowl of jujubes, chocolates, or chips within arm’s reach. Despite this love of healthy food, she managed to reach 93 years old without being on any medications – something that usually astounded the few doctors she encountered. In fact, she credited her good health to not having a doctor in Quebec. Joyce also loved walking and will be remembered for doing the most laps (13) around the floor of her most recent retirement residence this March to raise money for the Heart and Stroke foundation. Donations in Joyce’s name would be appreciated by her, I’m sure, if this were something you would like to do.

To celebrate her life, a burial at Mount Royal cemetery in Montreal, alongside George, followed by a lunch in Joyce’s honour will take place on July 6, 2024, at 11am and 12:30pm respectively. All are invited to remember her and share stories. Please let Dianne know if you plan to attend.

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