ROWLEY (MYERS), Joan Carolyn (January 26, 1941 – February 1, 2021). We are sad beyond what words can express to announce the passing of our wife/mom/friend, Joan at the age of 80 at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. Mom passed peacefully after suffering from dementia the last year and most recently COVID which she could no longer fight. Joan is survived by her beloved husband Harold Rowley – who has been by her side since they both moved into the same Sandy Cove community – just doors apart. Mom was survived by her children – daughter Tammy Murray (Bill) and son Terry Myers (Genny), stepdaughters, Laura Rowley (Christan Bowers) and Lisa Rowley, grandchildren Laura Smith (Sean), Ryley Bergie and Katie Myers, step-grandchildren Kathleen Bowers, Sara Bowers and Danielle Rowley and great-grandchildren Alex Smith and Ava Smith. Mom was adopted as a child and raised by loving parents Fred and Dorothy Becker (deceased) in Kitchener. It was only later in life, when Joan was in her late 40’s/early 50’s that she learned that she also had brothers and sisters. Mom was so excited to finally meet her extended family and she is survived by loving brothers and sisters: Gary Schlueter (Joan), Beverly Thibodeau (Carl), Sandra Burgess (deceased), Peter Miehm (Sharon) and Robert McKellar (Anna). Joan worked in the insurance industry in Barrie for much of her life, after working to obtain her insurance agent license. Working was not enough for mom – she needed to always keep busy – and was a gifted seamstress and painter – many of her wonderful pieces hanging proudly in the homes of her kids and her home with Harold. Joan made everything from wedding dresses to jackets to dresses to suits and everything in between for many of her friends, family and even strangers – as her talents were sought after. Joan had a way with words, she was fierce when it came to defending and taking care of her two kids – ensuring that they were never without. She was a Brownie leader, a Minor Hockey Mother and followed her kids around to support their passions – from hockey, to figure skating to swimming – she was always there. Joan met Harold in the last half of her life after her husband, Richard Myers passed away. Harold and Joan were inseparable and the love they shared was seen by all. It was wonderful that they found each other and were able to complete the journey together. They both loved the same things, and their lives were so intertwined whether it was watching car races on TV, NFL, actually going to Daytona, driving down East or trying different meals or just sitting outside and enjoying the comfortable, loving home they made. They did it all together. For any that drove with Joan, you learned quickly she was the worst, of the worst back-seat drivers. She could see out of the corner of her eye if you were doing 70km in an 80km zone and you NEEDED to slow down to 50km. It was ironic that she loved watching car races on TV with Harold. You can now drive faster than 20km Harold – but know that mom will be watching down on you! For the last year, mom’s dementia started to advance very aggressively. One moment we were enjoying our 2019 Christmas with the full family and then, we were in a COVID lockdown and then she could no longer remember who we were or where she lived. It all happened too fast. I remember having a conversation with my mom while helping care for her with Harold – which went along this way every week:
Me: “Mom, it was wonderful to be with you the last few days – I’m sad to be leaving”
Mom: “It was nice seeing you again too!”
Me: “Mom, you remember me??!!!”
Mom: “I don’t remember who you are, but I remember that I love you”
This conversation was the same for me, my brother and Harold. She loved us unconditionally and knew Harold would take care of her. We want to thank the nursing staff at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. They only cared for mom the last few days of her life – but they did so with such care and compassion. We could not have asked for a better team to be there for mom. As mom died of COVID, we could not be with her – but we had comfort in knowing the wonderful staff were by her side at the end. The family will be celebrating Joan’s life privately. Arrangements entrusted to the INNISFIL FUNERAL HOME. 7910 Yonge Street (Stroud). Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family by visiting www.innisfilfuneralhome.ca Contributions to Alzheimer Society- Simcoe County Chapter to help find a cure would be appreciated.
Alzheimer Society - Simcoe County Chapter