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Obituary - Joan Gilliland

Joan Gilliland

1937 - 2024

Cook Southland Funeral Chapel - Gilliland(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.


  1. Mary Anne King:
    Jul 04, 2024 at 09:10 PM

    My condolences to Joan’s family on her passing. My father was Ernest Dishaw and I have pictures of Joan and I as we were growing up. She was a year older than myself.
    I think for some time we both lived in Ontario but didn’t have the opportunity to connect but I understood that our husbands may have been at the University of Saskatchewan at the same time. His name was Everett King. My deepest sympathy on your loss of a special person in your lives. Mary Anne King

  2. Dennis Norsworthy:
    Jul 05, 2024 at 10:52 AM

    Jack and Family,

    So very sorry for the loss of your wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother.

    May she rest in peace.

    Sincerely, Dennis Norsworthy

  3. Greg Wood:
    Jul 05, 2024 at 11:41 AM

    We send our condolences to Jack and family. I have wonderful memories of working with Jack at John Deere Ltd. for many years.

  4. Lawrence and Connie Ruud:
    Jul 06, 2024 at 04:50 PM

    Jack and Family, we were so sad to hear of Joan’s passing. We have great memories of a friendship that goes back many years and included countless meetings and trips together. Our deepest condolences to the Gilliland family.

  5. Rod Bradshaw:
    Jul 06, 2024 at 11:07 PM

    Dear Jack
    Our heartfelt condolences on Joan's passing.
    Rod Bradshaw

  6. Wendy Brenn:
    Jul 07, 2024 at 10:34 AM

    Jack and family.
    So sorry to hear. Dave and I think of you both often. Memories of Joan at OYF are precious.
    Wendy and Dave Brenn

  7. Joan Drummond:
    Jul 08, 2024 at 12:56 PM

    My heartfelt condolences to you Jack and the whole Gilliland clan on the passing of dear Joan. I have so many cherished memories of our wonderful
    kind and caring next door neighbours.
    With love,
    Joan Drummond

  8. Wendy Fountain:
    Jul 08, 2024 at 07:57 PM

    I am so very sorry to hear of Joan's passing. A fine lady. Sincere condolences to Jack and family.

  9. Joan Cranston:
    Jul 10, 2024 at 01:55 PM

    Jack & family, Doug & I are so sorry to hear of Joan's passing. We always looked forward to our visits at OYF events and Joan's Christmas cards giving us updates once you moved out West. Deepest sympathy to all of you.

  10. Lynn Bryson:
    Jul 10, 2024 at 02:04 PM

    Dear Jack and family,
    My deepest sympathy to you all. Joan was such a lovely person and I enjoyed seeing you both at OYF Events.

  11. Chris & Christy Hiemstra:
    Jul 10, 2024 at 03:49 PM

    Jack, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your life partner. We are thinking of you and your family.

  12. Marie Smith:
    Jul 10, 2024 at 11:09 PM

    Dear Jack,
    Our condolences to you and your family on the passing of Joan. Always looked forward to seeing you both at OYF events.
    Dale & Marie

  13. William Bradley:
    Jul 12, 2024 at 12:43 PM

    Our condolences to Jack, David, Rob, Marnie and all of Joan's extended family. We first met Joan while Jack was at the University of Saskatchewan in the College of Agriculture. We have remained in close contact ever since and will greatly miss Joan and our get togethers.
    Bill and Betty Bradley

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