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Joan Camilla Amy (nee Parsons) was born the only girl of Robert Denys Paul Parsons and Beatrice Edith Parsons on January 17, 1933 on the Parsons Homestead located at 14-18-8 W2M. She grew up on the farm with her 5 brothers, Denys, Leslie, Ellwyn, Lyle and Lynne. She attended Weldon Country School and later attended the Old Stone Pile in Grenfell where she met the love of her life, Blake Cecil Amy. After graduation, she attended Normal School in Moose Jaw for one year to qualify for teaching. She obtained her first teaching position at Wolfe Creek Rural School located north of Glenavon. That teaching package required her to teach Grades 1 to 8 and do the daily janitorial work in the school at an annual income of $1,800. She rode her bike two miles to school in the summer and was driven by horse and cutter in the winter. The following year, she taught at Rillington Rural School located southeast of Grenfell and she earned $2,300 that year!
Joan and Blake were married on August 11, 1954. They purchased their first home on Retallack Street in Regina's north end. Sheryl Lee arrived in July, 1955, then Twyla Rae in June, 1958 and finally a boy was born on his dad's birthday in January 1960. Shortly before Dean's birth, they purchased a brand new home complete with hardwood floors at 321 Halifax Street North, in Regina, Saskatchewan. In 1963, they sold their new home to embark on a new adventure and moved their young family to the Amy family homestead located at 19-16-7 W2M near Grenfell. To mom's dismay, there was no running water or indoor bathroom or kitchen cabinets in the old farm house. That was remedied shortly thereafter!
Joan immersed herself in farm life preparing meals and hauling them to the fields in seeding, haying and harvest time, taking care of her growing family ensuring they participated in a variety of recreational activities, including piano lessons, figure skating, hockey, church groups, horse back riding and gymkhana events, choir and various other activities and groups. She planted and cared for an enormous vegetable garden along with a half an acre of potatoes, a number of flower beds and rock gardens and mowed acres and acres of lawn. She canned and froze fruits and vegetables that lasted all winter and raised chickens. Her family ate organic food long before it was in vogue. From the sale of her own piano, she bought a cow which she promptly named ”Piano”. That cow bore a calf “Keys”. When Joan sold her cow and calf, she purchased a small trailer that Blake hauled to the Amy Cottage site at Grenfell Beach so the family could have a 2 week holidays every year with the rest of the Amy Clan. She would take her sewing machine to the lake for that holiday and make small crafts and bikinis. Lots of very fond family memories of Saturday night parties and shenanigans, family potluck meals outside, nightly competitive Scrabble games, lots and lots of kids running around and swimming, campfires and weiner roasts, water skiing and boat rides were made during those two weeks at the beach.
Joan was long time member of the Eleanor Rebekah Lodge, working her way through the chairs earning her way to the level of District Deputy President of the area. She worked for the Lodge until its dissolution in Grenfell.
Joan was an active member of the Brownhill Community Club. The Club planned social events for the community including the Brownhill picnic held in the pipestone on the Amy farm and wedding showers for the newly weds who were brought up in the Brownhill District. She was a member of the Summerhill Homemakers and worked at the Craft Store at the Grenfell Recreational Centre in Grenfell.
Joan was an integral part of and held the positions of bookkeeper, clerk, ringmaster and problem solver in the family business, Amy's Auction Service. Her exceptional organization skills were invaluable in the setting up and organization of the numerous auction sales and service provided for 48 years.
Joan believed that her interest in sewing and handicrafts early in life was strongly influenced by her mother's skills in sewing and crochet work. She especially loved sewing for the benefit and joy of her children and grandchildren and also gifted and donated many sewn items to others and organizations in the community and surrounding district. During the 1970 and 1980's, Joan designed and created gowns for whole wedding parties, including gowns for her daughters and some of their attendants. She encouraged her two daughters in their endeavours in sewing and handicrafts and quilting and both have become keenly interested and skilled in creating from fabric and other textiles. Her daughter-in-law, Joanne, is also an avid sewer and knitter. Joan was naturally attracted to craft shows, in part because the quality of her own work was of a caliber that she had a ready market for and she was tireless in promoting such events.
Joan was also an active member of the Grenfell Agricultural Society and served as a director for many years. The society holds annual fall fairs, providing among other things, an outlet for those engaged in the domestic arts and farming productivity. Joan completed successfully in all categories she entered in the fair – sewing, quilting, canning and baking. She instigated, planned and organized the Craft and Trade Shows with her good friend, Joan Haylock, for a number of years. Joan's contributions to handicrafts and the arts was recognized in 2006 in Saskatchewan with “The Lieutenant Governor's Celebration of the Arts Award” presented by the Lieutenant Governor at the time, Ms. Linda Haverstock.
Joan had a dedicated interest in hockey in Grenfell. She was an avid fan of the Grenfell Spitfires and never missed a home game until she required care and was no longer able to go to the rink. She designed and sewed the original Spitfire Championship Banners that hung in the Grenfell Recreational Centre arena. Some of her favorite times at the rink though, were watching her grandchildren play hockey and develop their skills.
Joan delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She and Blake would create treasure hunts at Easter time that took the grandchildren all over the farm searching and hunting for Easter eggs. Christmas time found Joan sewing fine seams and wielding a glue gun ensuring that everyone got a variety of handmade Christmas decorations, sewn items and crafted gifts under the tree. The family far and near enjoyed and looked forward to Joan's butter tarts, quiche, Christmas cake, Danish, Cinnamon Twists, shortbread, pie, buns, bread, hot cross buns and more. There was always an abundance of cookies found in the cupboard under the phone at the farm and all the grandchildren knew exactly where to find them.
Joan and Blake sold the family farm and retired to Grenfell Saskatchewan in 2006. Following the death of Blake, her highschool sweetheart and husband of 55 years, Joan sold her home on Alice Street in Grenfell and moved to Aspen Grove in Grenfell. In the fall of 2018, Joan fell and broke her wrist and subsequently required more care than she was receiving at Aspen Grove. A new home was found for her at the Balcarres Integrated Care Centre where she received exceptional care until her death on February 23, 2020.
Joan was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and “Auntie” She was an educator, a fabulous cook and a creative baker, an accomplished seamstress, quilter and craftsperson. She was spunky, spicey and spirited. She loved ferociously, lived grandly and had a competitive spirit. She left a beautiful legacy of family and is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: daughter Sheryl (Paul) Moldenhauer of Buena Vista, Saskatchewan and their children Shannon (Melissa) McCready of Collingwood, Ontario and their daughter, Juniper Lee; Tyler (Glenna Coleman) Moldenhauer, Regina, Saskatchewan; daughter Twyla (Les) Biller, Mesachie Lake, British Columbia and their children: Amy (Mark) Tompkins, Dunrobin, Ontario and their children Mackenzie Tompkins of Brockville, Ontario and Fletcher Tompkins, Victoria, British Columbia; Ian (Erin) Biller, Sooke, British Columbia and their children, Colton Biller and Hailey Biller; Jennifer (Jimmy) Buchan of North Bay, Ontario, and their children, Charlotte Buchan and Molly Buchan; son Dean (Joanne) Amy of Grenfell, Saskatchewan, and their children Kiersten (Doran) Frick of Duff, Saskatchewan and their children, Blakely Frick and Burton Frick; Devin (Ben Chappel) Amy of Calgary, Alberta.
She is also survived by her only living brother, Lynn (Mavis) Parsons of Grenfell, Saskatchewan and her sisters-in-law, Loy Parsons of Vernon, British Columbia, Margaret Amy of Grenfell, Saskatchewan, Frances Amy of Forget, Saskatchewan, Vera Jean (Wayne) Dupuis of Regina, Saskatchewan and numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews.
Joan’s family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude to Aspen Grove Home in Grenfell, Saskatchewan, and Balcarres Integrated Care Centre in Balcarres, Saskatchewan, for the exceptional, kind and compassionate care provided to our mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.