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JOAN ANN HARRIS (published on July 06, 2010)

JOAN ANN HARRIS (nee CARIOU) January 17, 1931 - July 4, 2010 It is with deep sorrow we announce the peaceful passing of our wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend, Joan Harris, after a long but courageous battle with cancer on Sunday, July 4, 2010 at the age of 79 years. Remaining to forever cherish Joan's memory will be her husband John; sons Robert (Vanessa), Michael (Gena) and John (Maggie); grandchildren Hayley, Brenden, Pierce, Christopher, Hanna, Brooke and Presley; brothers Meche, Gerry (Marilyn) and Len (Heather); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her sister Bunny; parents Molly and George Cariou. Born in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Joan was the second of five children. This lively Franco-Irish family later moved to Winnipeg and settled in Norwood. She attended Holy Cross School where she made many lifelong friends. Joan was a WREN for a short time and later became the Senior Technologist at Misericordia Hospital. She fell in love and married John on August 16, 1958. They moved into the Riverview area where they lived for 40 years raising their three boys. Joan was very active in her boys' lives through their schools and the Riverview Community Centre, and for many years she was involved with the neighbourhood Talent Group and became a good friend to many neighbours. Joan and John were renowned for their hospitality, hosting innumerable gatherings, from legendary bridge games with up to four or five tables, annual Christmas tree trimming celebrations, to Christmas brunches with the Williams and other close friends and family. For many years Joan and John enjoyed spending a week or two at the Williams' cottage in Minaki where the four parents and seven boys would take advantage of the long summer days to swim, canoe, boat, play cards, read, and generally have a grand time. That tradition gradually morphed into an annual Canada Day celebration enjoyed by extended family and friends. As her children grew up, Joan rejoined the work force, at first as a telemarketer and then went back to her roots as a lab technician where she worked as a caring and dedicated phlebotomist for Trainor Labs until finally retiring. Joan was an extremely avid sports fan, both as spectator, participant and mom. She loved badminton, golf and tennis, and was a member of the Badminton and Canoe Clubs. She actively encouraged her three boys by attending many hockey practices and games as well as gymnastics competitions. Through badminton and tennis Joan made particularly dear and close friends. For several years along with her close-knit tennis gang she would make the August pilgrimage to either Toronto or Montreal to watch the world's best women compete at the Canadian Open. Although not able to keep up her sports activities in the last few years, she has always kept in close contact with her friends, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones. Family and friends were always Joan's greatest delight. Among her many attributes was her wonderful ability to make anyone feel at ease, from her youngest grandchild to her oldest friend. Joan would always be willing to take time out of her busy schedule to share a cup of coffee with a friend who happened to drop by for a visit. Blessed with three boys, she also had very close relationships with many of her nieces and delighted in their warm and loving company. Joan and John also enjoyed traveling and over the years went to Spain, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, as well as on many trips to the United States with her brothers, sister and in-laws to see her Tony Award winning brother Len appear in a wide variety of plays both on and off Broadway. Joan's battle with cancer began about ten years ago but she never wavered in her fight. Her courage and good humour in the face of adversity was and remains an inspiration. She will be deeply missed. Funeral Mass will be Celebrated on Friday, July 9 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 255 Stafford Street at Corydon Avenue with Rev. Fr. Gerry McDougall, S.J., presiding. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the palliative nurses and doctors who helped care for Joan at home as well as the wonderfully caring staff at Riverview Health Centre who made a difficult time much more bearable. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joan's memory may be made to CancerCare Manitoba, 675 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0V9 or a charity of your choice.

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