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JOAN KATHALEEN FITZPATRICK (published on January 07, 2009)

JOAN KATHALEEN FITZPATRICK (nee BELL) December 20, 1935 - January 1, 2009 Suddenly on January 1, 2009, our dear mother, grandmother, sister and friend, Joan Fitzpatrick of Winnipeg passed away at the age of 73 while visiting with family and friends in the Calgary area. Joan was predeceased by her husband Raymond, sister Donna, parents John and Kay, close cousin Carolyn Busby and brother Dennis. Mourning her passing but celebrating her life are her children Kathy, Karen de Groot (Stan), Michael (Janelle), and Patrick (Maureen); stepchildren Valerie Kosman (Alex) and Bill Burrows (Valerie); grandchildren Wesley, Steven, Heather, Nicole, Michaela, Gabrielle, Sean, Liam, Owen, Aidan, Tyler, Josh and Nathan, brother John (Dolly), close cousins Graham Lane (Marie) and Tom Bell (Nancy), close friends Maureen Nielson (Al) and Ann Goodwin and numerous other relatives and friends. Joan was born on Roseberry Street in St. James. She lived in St. James with her parents and siblings. Joan attended St. James Collegiate, and then worked at Searle Grain, where she made friends she would keep in contact with throughout her life. She enjoyed an active social life, and loved to dance. In 1958, Joan married Raymond Fitzpatrick, and together they built a life and family on the family farm southeast of Brandon near Killarney. Joan quickly became recognized for her culinary skills, and won several ribbons for her baking. Of course, curling was a part of their social life in rural Manitoba - something she had enjoyed with her father in her teen years. The family made several moves, first to Winnipeg in 1966, then to Rabbit Lake outside of Kenora and back to Winnipeg in 1968. In 1970, the family moved to Surrey, BC, and later that year to Prince George. It was there that Raymond passed away, and Joan was left to continue raising their four children. Joan moved the family back to Winnipeg in 1971, where they remained. She took a job at Thomas Rathwell Distributors, and later trained to become a ward clerk at the Health Sciences Centre. She continued her career there in various departments until her retirement in 1994. Joan volunteered with many organizations, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Warehouse Theatre, Rainbow Stage, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Siloam Mission, Goldwings with Winnipeg Airports Authority, Grace Hospital and Oakview Personal Care Home. She also taught English as a Second Language to new immigrants and helped refugees settle into life in Canada. Joan was also involved in a lot of social groups and support groups including Parents Without Partners, Beginning Experience, the Manitoba Naturalist Society, the Charleswood Ski Club, the Grey Hares, and a book club. She made many friends that she kept in contact with, and her calendar was always filled with dates for getting together with them, as well as family. In her later years, Joan took to travelling abroad, both for pleasure and to do volunteer work. Whether trekking in Nepal, touring Latin America, viewing the northern lights in the Northwest Territories, or doing volunteer work in Africa, she made numerous friends and touched many lives. Joan was a vibrant, caring person whose life's focus was her relationships with people. She offered advice and encouragement to friends and family alike. Joan frequently adopted causes and helped to fill the needs of others less fortunate, leaving the world a better place. She encouraged others to donate their time and money to charities close to her heart. In this spirit, we respectfully request that in lieu of flowers, donations in Joan's name be made to your choice of the following: Siloam Mission, Mennonite Central Committee or Sleeping Children Around the World. Funeral service will be held Saturday, January 10, 2009, 2:00 p.m. at St John's Anglican Cathedral, 135 Anderson Avenue, Winnipeg.

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