Joyce Lorain Hanlon

June 5, 1929December 26, 2012

5 June 1929 - 26 December 2012

Passed away at St. Catharines General Hospital after a long struggle with cancer. Daughter of Harold Tassie and Jean Atkinson, she grew up in Toronto’s West End, and then spent nearly all her adult life in St. Catharines where her husband Thomas Francis Hanlon worked for General Motors. Only briefly employed outside the home, Joyce Hanlon made her mark as a community activist for a wide array of social and political causes at the local and provincial level, and was, for many years, riding secretary for the New Democratic Party. She was a lifelong enthusiast of fine houses, antiques, domestic animals and left politics of every description, a tenacious thorn in the side of elected politicians and unelected officials throughout the Niagara Region.

Predeceased by her husband Tom in 2005, she will be missed by her five children, Gregory, Mark, Jane, Brent and Adam, by her daughters-in-law Anne Lesimple Hanlon and Melinda Molnar Hanlon, and by her nine grandchildren, Adrian, Tassie, Amy and Andrew (all Thomson) and Emma, Matthew, Ariane, Sean and Laura Hanlon.

The family invites those who knew her to celebrate her life on Saturday January 12 at 9:30 a.m. at St George’s Anglican Church, 83 Church St. in St. Catharines. Inurnment to follow in Victoria Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Preservation of Agricultural Land Society (PALS) of Niagara, Climate Action Niagara, the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario or the Council of Canadians. Arrangements entrusted to the HULSE & ENGLISH FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, (905) 684-6346. Online condolences may be made at


  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 12, 2013

Joyce Lorain Hanlon

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Sheryl Stewart

January 8, 2013

I am sorry to hear of Joyce's passing. Prayers and blessings to all the family. I know Jane through Land Care Niagara and have met Joyce at the Community Gardens. My God be with all of you at this difficult time.

January 5, 2013

We are very saddened to hear of your mother's passing. Don has many memories of Aunt Joyce and Uncle Tom, the many visits with his mom and dad, Mary and George. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.


Don & Irene Busby (Parry Sound, ON)

Betty Baker

January 2, 2013

To the family of Joyce Hanlon - I knew Joyce Tassie when she lived in New Toronto on 7th. Street my family were great friends of her mother and dad. My brother Bob Streeter ( passed April 3,2012)grew up with Joyce and her brother Ted. I know my mother would have wanted me to share this remembrance with the family and express my sympathy to her family.Sincerely Betty (Streeter) Baker now of Wasaga Beach.

John Nicol

January 2, 2013

Our lives were much richer for knowing Joyce. She was a great fighter for great causes. Thinking of her reminds me of the Robert Kennedy quote: "Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope."
Joyce created waves with all her work. We need more like her so I hope she passed to torch onto her nine grandchildren...

December 30, 2012

Joyce was a force to be reckoned with, for sure. She was always an advocate for either social justice or environmental causes, and I admired her spirit. She opened up her lovely house to fellow disciples. Even though occasionally we butted heads, I admired her integrity in speaking out. We need more people like Joyce in our midst.

My sympathy to her family.

Gail Benjafield

Jacqui Tracy

December 30, 2012

Thank you Joyce for opening your home and gardens for meetings to support the many causes to raise awareness in our community.Thank you for being an example of the courage it takes to speak your mind and take action.It is our task now as the next generation to carry on.

Jane & Pat Dunphy

December 30, 2012

Our sincerest condolences to the family of our good friend Joyce. For me she was a trusted mentor and guide. Visiting her beautiful home for a meeting or social was always such a delight. We have been away for a while now, but the warm memories remain fresh.

Condolences, also, to Niagara's NDP family. I know we did not always agree with Joyce, but whenever does a political family agree 100%? Nobody could ever fault Joyce's dedication and plain old hard work. Speaking personally: Thanks to the woman who really kick-started my entry into political life!

Jane (Hughes) and Pat Dunphy

December 29, 2012

What a treat to have known Joyce for the better part of my life. I will miss her fiery spirit, her interesting opinion on all things political and environmental, and also watching the long friendship she shared with my mother, Jean. My condolences to her family. Mary-Ellen Kelly