Passed away peacefully at Gateway Haven in Wiarton, on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Born February 1, 1934, Lillian Joyce Atkinson (nee Hamer) from Port Elgin, was in her 88th year. Dearly loved wife of the late Ted Atkinson (2000). Loving mother of Don Atkinson (Marsha), Cathy MacLean (Graham), Margie McCulloch (Larry), Marlene McCulloch (Roger), Dianne Atkinson (Troy), Debbie Blue (Robert) and Donna Thomson (Denise). Proud grandmother of Robbie (Leeanne), Kelly (David), Jenna (Steve), Jenn (Paul), Cindy (Nick), Jody, Amanda, Margie (Mark), Terry (Melissa), Bobby (Kristen), Jeff (Christy), Greg and Jarrett. Predeceased by Ronnie and Melanie. Great grandmother of 19 and great-great-grandmother of 3. Dear sister of Shirley Giles (Wayne) and sister-in-law of Louise Neeb and Doreen Atkinson. Joyce will also be missed by her many nieces, nephews and friends. Joyce was a lot of things to different people, but most of all in this world she was a mother of 7, grandmother to 15, great-grandma to 19 and even great-great-grandma to 3.
Mom was married at a very young age at just 17 years old and Don born by the time she was 18 and the family had begun. Mom worked in the tobacco fields back then and apparently carried Don along with her protected in a basket. Work never stopped for Mom. She was very dedicated to any task or job she had. She would clean homes, paint, wallpaper or any other odd jobs for anyone that would ask and often times this was after she had already worked her day at the CAW centre. Mom worked there in 1973 until her retirement in 1990. Again, doing whatever was asked of her but in the end of her career she was in the kitchen cooking and baking. Two things she was very good at and taught all of us well. At Moms apartment you could walk in the door and just smell and knew exactly where it was coming from. Often could even guess what delicious treat awaited. I can still smell it.
She liked to talk on the phone to keep in touch with people. Sometimes it was only a minute or two but there was that moment of connection that meant a lot to anyone on the other end of the line. If you were not home and she left you a message it was always the same “Just me, nothing important, talk to you later”. Simple and to the point.
After Dad passed away in 2000 Mom did a wonderful job surviving and living on her own. She was a strong independent person and never wanted to be anyone’s burden. That was true until the end. She would often say, “You shouldn’t be doing these things for me, I should be still able to”. Our response was simple, you took care of me, now it’s our turn. We are ok with that.
Mom struggled with her health the last two months, but the staff at Gateway Haven took tremendous care of Mom and we cannot begin to express our sincere gratitude for all they had done.
Special thanks to Dr. VanDorp and the Gateway staff, especially the 2West gang. Your care and compassion during difficult times will never be forgotten. Rest easy Mom, I hope you are walking on the moon and dancing on the stars with Dad. Xoxo
A private graveside service to celebrate Joyce’s life will be held on Friday, April 30th, 2021 at Sanctuary Park Cemetery in Port Elgin with Rev. Heather McCarrel officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Friends of Gateway Wiarton or the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Program Port Elgin Chapter would be appreciated by the family and can be made through the Brian E. Wood Funeral Home, 250 14th Street West, Owen Sound, 519-376-7492. Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Joyce’s online memorial at www.woodfuneralhome.ca