JOHANNA ANTHOINETTA DEYS, of Lethbridge, Alberta, beloved wife of John Deys, passed away peacefully surrounded by family, at St. Therese Villa, on Monday, October 30, 2023 at the age of 85 years.
Besides her devoted and loving husband of 65 years, John, she is survived by her children: Peter John (Carla) Deys, Wenda (Gene) Weatherall, Carol (Jim) Hougen, and Tony (Stacy) Deys; her 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; sister Heidi Van Roon and brother Age (Lynn) Van Leeuwen.
She was predeceased by her parents Anthony and Willy Van Leeuwen, sister Tina Tuinhof, and brother Clarence Van Leeuwen.
Joanne was born in Minnertsga, Friesland in the Netherlands on November 26, 1937. Joanne, or Joop, immigrated to Canada with her parents in 1954 and settled in Lethbridge. In 1956, she met John who thought she looked familiar. Turns out Joanne and John had lived just 16 kilometres apart in Friesland and she had captured John’s eye at a Gymnastics Club Regional meet in Harlingen in 1953, but they didn’t actually meet until both were in Lethbridge. They were married in 1958. Joanne was a devoted mother and thrived in her role as Beppe. Her gift of service to others blossomed when she became a chaplain with Alberta Health Services. She also assisted with the start-up of Family Ties Association and served as a deacon at Maranatha CRC until she was diagnosed with dementia in 2006. Her and John were able to make numerous trips back to Holland and enjoy numerous cruises from all the Air Miles rewards he accumulated through Lethbridge Driving Academy.
The family would like to thank the staff at St Therese Villa for their care of Joanne over the past few years.
A Celebration of Joanne’s Life will be held at MARANATHA CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH, 260 McGill Blvd. West, Lethbridge, AB, on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 11:00 A.M.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society (Alzheimer.ca)
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39