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JULIA JOAN ARMITAGE (nee KOBYLANSKI) September 30, 1916 - August 15, 2013 It is with profound sadness that we must say farewell to our beloved Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother Joan, who passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at the glorious age of 96. Joan was predeceased by her parents Stanley and Anna Kobylanski, her husband Alan Norman Armitage, and her four sisters Mildred Syros, Jessie Hardy, Helen Wysocki, and Jean Baron. She leaves cherished memories for her three children Bill, Liz and John (Shawn); her two grandchildren Marni and Jared; her two great- grandchildren Madysson and Averi; and many nieces and nephews. She will also be fondly remembered as "Auntie Pony" by her special nephew Ernie Sikor. Joan was born and raised in Winnipeg and attended St. John's High School as a young lady. She had an inherent passion for Literature and focused her academic endeavours toward a career in Journalism, but the Great Depression had other plans for our dearest Joan. The "Dirty Thirties" quelled her chance to pursue her career aspirations. Like so many others, she had to give up her dreams and enter the workforce to make a living. Then along came the Second World War which again sent Joan down another path. She headed to Fort William, now known as Thunder Bay, to work in the Canadian Car and Foundry (CC&F). This plant was a major producer of the famous Hurricane and Helldiver fighter planes. During the Second World War, thousands of women went to work in factories to support the war effort. These women affectionately became known as "Rosies" after the popular song and comic book heroine "Rosie the Riveter." Our Mom was proud to serve her country as a "Rosie of the North." She often reminisced about many wonderful experiences there and also some of the after-work party shenanigans. In 1948 she married Al and set her sights on a new career of Motherhood. She raised her "three little ducklings" as she called us, with as much love as a mother possibly could. She often called us by two names; "Billy Dear", "Lizzy Dear", and "Johnny Dear." Throughout her life she never failed in her selfless devotion to her family. Joan had a keen wit, a wonderful sense of humour, and a heart of pure gold. She had a lifelong bond with nature and animals, particularly the "tail-waggers." Her favourite songs were "Melody of Love" by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra, "Begin the Beguine" by Cole Porter and Artie Shaw, and Amazing Grace. Joan's favourite poem was "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" (also known as "Daffodils") by William Wordsworth. We'll have everlasting memories of our mother laughing along with "I Love Lucy" on "The Tube"; and of her contented smile, Reader's Digest in hand with the family dog curled up at her side. We'll never forget the sound of Artie Shaw melodies drifting out of the kitchen window on a warm summer day. Our hearts will forever be with you. So alas "Joanie Dear", soar with the angels and we'll meet again amongst the "dancing daffodils." The family would like to express sincere gratitude to: Dr. Monika Czarnecka; Noreen, SSGL and other Donwood Manor staff; Bonnie Butler; Margaret and Home Care Nursing staff; and H.S.C. staff. We would also like to thank our many friends and co-workers whose support was invaluable in allowing us to care for our beloved Joan with the respect and dignity that she so well deserved. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Winnipeg Humane Society or a Pet Rescue of your choice. To honour Joan's wishes, a private family gathering for the interment will take place later this week.
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on August 20, 2013
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