Joan Gilliland (nee King)

Obituary of Joan Gilliland (nee King)

Joan Gilliland (nee King)  

1937 ~ 2024

On Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024, we said good-bye to our much-loved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, at the age of 87.

Joan was happily married to Jack, the love of her life, for over 63 years. She is remembered by her children, David (Sydney), Robert (Marianne), and Marnie (Andrew Bevan). She was so very proud of her grandchildren, Adina (Frank), Tyrus (Tonja), Sharla (Kyle), Eric (Stacey), Nicole, Alexandra (Benjamin) and Rhys. She also took great delight in her great-grandchildren, Quinn, Ari, Tristan, Townes, Arlen, Callum, Sawyer, Paxton and Wren.

She is survived by her brother, Lorne, and her nephew, Dean and their families, all in Alberta. She was predeceased by her mother, Bertha Mae King (Dishaw) and by her beloved Doberman, Brandy.

Joan was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on February 15th, 1937.  She spent her formative years in and around Conquest, Saskatchewan. The time on her grandparents’ Conquest farm always held a very special place in her heart. Her heart also had room for her beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders and for any NHL team with a decent goalie. Upon graduation from secretarial college in Saskatoon, Joan joined the staff at the University of Saskatchewan School of Nursing. She continued to work at various administrative assistant positions all while she raised her growing family and navigated through husband Jack’s career moves with John Deere which took them through stops in Regina (3-times!), Winnipeg and Burlington, Ontario (also 3 times!). 

Joan drove countless miles in support of her very active children; football, hockey, highland dance and Burlington Teen Tour Band practice and events, being her main destinations. Despite the demands of raising a family she maintained many active interests. She was a lifelong member of the Beta Sigma Phi International sorority. She was intensely interested in Canadian History, especially our country’s service in both World Wars, and she had an extensive collection of books on those subjects. She was also passionate about anything to do with Royalty and England and would readily bring you up to speed on both over a steaming cuppa. Joan closely followed national politics and kept many newspapers in business well into the online age. 

Joan loved the people she met through her long involvement in 4-H. In her youth she was a member of the Saskatchewan delegation to the 1953 Canadian 4-H Conference in Toronto and Ottawa which she called an experience of a lifetime. She was a significant presence at her husband Jack’s side at 4-H events, as well as Outstanding Young Farmer events, well into her 80’s.

Joan took great joy in her children and their growing families. Walking hand-in-hand with her husband Jack, she literally followed her kids to the “ends of the earth”; visiting them in rural Alberta, Africa, Hawaii and the U.K. whenever she could. She and Jack eventually moved to Hanna, Alberta to be close to family. Mom was a voracious reader, needle point enthusiast, and provider of sports colour commentary at televised and live events.

Donations in memory of Joan can be directed to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 1200-2300 Yonge St., Box 2414, Toronto, ON M4P 1E4. .

A private family service will be held at a later date. 


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