She is survived by her loving husband Bob; daughter Randi, Randi's husband Ozie and two wonderful grandsons: Ajayom and Tejan; step-children Darren (Cheryl), Michelle (Mark), and Joelle (Bert); step-grandchildren Amanda (Kris), Matthew, Melissa, Hope (Owen), Katie, Madison (Jony) and Megan; step great-grandchildren Skylar and Brooklyn; her sisters Pat (Neil), Sharon (Bob) and Lisette (Earl); sisters and brothers-in-law Louise and Leo, Laurette and Marcel, Rene and Jeanette; nephew Jesse; and nieces Cailee (Kurt), Rory (Peter) and Laura.
Joanne was predeceased by her infant son Shawn and her parents George and Pauline Ross.
Joanne was born in Virden, MB, to George and Pauline, the third of 4 daughters. Affectionately called "the girls" by their parents to the rest of the world they were the "Ross Girls".
For the first 6 years of her life the family lived on Sioux Valley First Nation when her dad was the principal of the school. There the girls had wide open spaces. There was lots to look forward to including visits from grandparents and relatives, camping trips, going to Clear Lake and endless days of play with 2 older sisters and a new baby sister in 1962.
In 1963 the family moved to Winnipeg which became “home" to Joanne for the rest of her life. She attended schools in Fort Garry. Following high school Joanne attended Red River Community College and in 1978 graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration.
Her work life started at A & W where she came home smelling like burgers and fries which made some of us hungry and some of us sick! Upon graduation from Red River she was employed at Intercity Gas but for most of her career worked at the University of Manitoba where she was a hardworking and respected staff member.
In 1982 she welcomed daughter Randi into her life. Joanne was an amazing Mom and loved her daughter more than anything. Being a single mother wasn't always easy but having her parents and sisters' close was a tremendous help and support. All any mother wishes for is to see their child grow up; be happy, safe and loved. Joanne got her wish.
Joanne met Bob at the U of M and they married in 2000. Their wedding, like Joanne, was simple and beautiful. Their reception was held in their backyard which Joanne loved. They had so much fun, always getting up to something; facing life together with great love and respect for the other. Joanne and Bob celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary together on July 8th.
Joanne played every role in her life with love and devotion, from daughter to great grandmother. She loved a party and bringing people together. When she and Bob got married there was no question that his family was now her family. She loved the simple things in life from her backyard flowers to Christmas. The list is long. But most of all she loved the people who surrounded her: Bob, Randi, Bob's family, her family and her friends, and especially her grandchildren who she could love and spoil.
Her leaving has left a terrible hole in our lives. Our lives will never be quite the same again and our hearts hurt. We will deeply miss her beautiful spirit, kindness, goofiness, gentleness but also her fierceness and strength; this Joanne who loved us all unconditionally. And perhaps if we live the rest of our lives just a little bit more like Joanne lived hers: that today is what it is, take joy in the small things and always, always look forward to tomorrow we will make this world a better place.
"And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make"
A celebration of Joanne's life will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2019, 10:00 am at Thomson "In the Park" Funeral Home, 1291 McGillivray Boulevard.
The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Lorraine Hilderman for her care and her advocacy on behalf of Joanne.
In lieu of flowers memorial tributes can be made to the St. Amant Foundation (www.stamant.ca/foundation/) 440 River Road, Winnipeg, MB R2M 3Z9 or to Ronald McDonald House (www.rmhcmanitoba.org) 566 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3A 0G7.