Cover photo for Joyce Grant's Obituary
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1926 Joyce 2022

Joyce Grant

November 18, 1926 — April 20, 2022

With sadness we say goodbye to Joyce Grant, beloved daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, wife, amma, great-grandma, great-great-grandmother and contributing community member.

Joyce died on Wednesday April 20, 2022, after a short illness following a broken hip, at the Portage la Prairie General Hospital at the age of 95 years.

She was predeceased by her husband George Clark Grant, parents Bjorn and Clara Sigurdson, brother Warren and sister Margaret.

Joyce will be lovingly remembered by her children Cheryl (Don) Breakey, Patti Mendarozqueta, Christine Grant (Brian Ross), Robert (Roberta) Grant and Lori Grant, grandchildren Marieke, Nicole, Canek, Aneke Danielle, Lynn, Patti, Ryan, Andrew and Eric, great-grandchildren Emily, Wren, Jackson, Violet, Ruby, Olive, Adalyn and Maïka; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Joyce was born on November 18, 1926 in Cypress River, Manitoba.  Devotion to family was Joyce's commitment, however her concept of family included and extended beyond relatives. Education was encouraged by her parents. Starting from a one room school house in Cypress River, MB she went on to graduate from Daniel McIntyre Collegiate, Winnipeg. Joyce enrolled at the University of Manitoba in a program which became the Faculty of Social Work.  She interrupted her studies to support the war effort by getting a teaching certificate and teaching at her former school in Cypress River where her brother Warren was a student. She paid for her studies through collecting gopher tails which also kept her busy.

After graduation Joyce worked for the Children's Aid Society in Dauphin where she met and married George and became a family.  They moved to Portage la Prairie where Joyce worked for the Children's Aid Society.  She later took a position with the Portage la Prairie School Division as Attendance Officer where she strove to find ways to support students to remain in school.  This included driving students to diagnostic appointments to discover if there were impediments to learning and sometimes even wake up calls to get a student up and off to class.  Joyce was surprised to learn years later after retiring - from an adult that although at the time they had not appreciated Joyce's involvement that they were now happy they had stayed in school.

Joyce was part of a committee that established the first day care in Portage.  It is hard to recall that day care was a radical idea at that time.  Later Joyce was a part of a committee that established a soup kitchen and had also been a part of a committee to create a band program at Prince Charles School.

J oyce volunteered to billet and host students and participants bringing their experiences to programs in Portage la Prairie.  She often travelled to Winnipeg to attend school events, concerts and recitals for her grandchildren.

After retiring Joyce had more time to devote to volunteering with St Mary's Anglican Church, Meals on Wheels, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Red Cross.  She belonged to the University Women's Club and had been a member of the Toastmaster Club.

Five children and a large garden kept Joyce busy sewing, baking, cooking, preserving, gardening and taxi driving children to activities.  She loved living on Island Park and going for walks at every opportunity.  Possibly to get away from all the tasks mentioned!  Who could forget her annual foraging to collect wild asparagus she found on her walks.

Icelandic was her first language and she was proud to maintain her fluency taking some language classes at the Scandinavian Centre in Winnipeg with others from Portage.  She subscribed to the Logberg-Heimskringla and belonged to the Icelandic National League of North America.

Throughout her life Joyce communicated with George's far-flung relatives as well as her own.  She kept in touch with her schoolmates as well, including the last surviving student from her graduating class, Donna Tone of Vancouver aged 98.  Had Joyce's eyesight and hearing not deteriorated so much in recent years, no doubt her Skype and Zoom skills would be well honed.

When keeping a house became too much at age 82 she sold it and moved to Dalton Grove Estates in Portage.  She had supervised the packing of this residence to move to the new Dufferin Villa but had a fall the day before the movers arrived.  Her belongings moved to her new address however she did not.  Her fall set a series of events in motion and she never crossed the threshold of the new apartment she had looked forward to.

Private services will be held and interment will take place at Bru Cemetery at a later date.

As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made in Joyce’s memory to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage la Prairie, Inc. 15 Tupper Street S. Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 1W7 and Central Plains Cancer Services, 318 Saskatchewan Ave. E., Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0K8.

A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce Grant, please visit our flower store.


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