Joyce Hanna

Obituary of Joyce Gwendolyn Hanna


In Honour of & Loving Memory for Joyce Gwendolyn Hanna, 1944-2020

As her granddaughter learned from working in long-term care, all the money in the world means nothing.  The true jewels of life are the love and hugs of your loved ones and by that definition, Joyce Hanna passed away a very rich woman indeed on October 24, 2020.

 Joyce was born in Seaforth, Ontario on May 22, 1944 as the best gift her parents could have asked for.  The woman we lovingly know as Joyce today was born Janet Clelland.  She was adopted by her parents Willard & Babe (Mary) who often shared with immense pride that they got to choose her for their daughter.  They gifted to her the beautiful name of Joyce Armstrong.  She grew up on the family farm just outside of Belgrave, Ontario.  She was attending F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham, Ontario when she fell in love.

Joyce celebrated 58 wonderful years of marriage with the love of her life, David Hanna.  That union gifted Joyce with another family who loved her as their own, and she in return.  She gained an additional set of parents along with the siblings, nieces and nephews she had always longed for.  The years together took David & Joyce on many adventures, including blazing their own trail – moving west to Saskatchewan in 1981 and settling in North Battleford for many years.  During their retirement years, they greatly enjoyed many winters together with family and friends (both old and new) in Coolidge, Arizona.  In 2012, they moved to the community of Strathmore, Alberta and have resided there since.

During Joyce’s life together with David they lovingly raised their four children - John Hanna, Ron Hanna, Joanne Knowlton, and Mary Susan LeRouzic.  They were Joyce’s pride and joy, not to mention her love for each of their spouses – respectively, Alisa Hanna, Liz Hanna, Lyle Knowlton and Rob LeRouzic.

Love surrounded Joyce, with her eight grandchildren (in order of age) - Kimberly (Phil), Amanda (Matt), Marlaina (Russell), Christine (Trent), David (Stefany), Tiffany (Ben), Nicole (Mike), and Michelle (Dalton), and her great grandchildren – Bailey, Hudson, Ryder, Kaya, Brooklyn, Azalea, Bryer, and Kingi. There is comfort in knowing she is with her great granddaughter, Olivia.

Joyce was a hard-working woman, never shying away from any job that needed to be done.  She especially enjoyed her decades working for Woolco/Woolworths/Walmart.  She was the kind of woman that loved to raise money for charity, especially for children.  A favourite memory for her was connected to her fundraising – she was awarded a trip to Florida, and along with Marie Osmond toured one of the benefiting children’s hospitals to visit the little ones there.  This was a life-changing moment for Joyce.  She never forgot those brave children and the extent of their sickness and hurt.  From there she made a promise to herself to resist the urge to complain about her suffering, even when the pain reached its worst. 

Joyce loved her friends and family near and far fully with her big heart - she adopted them all as family, relation or not.  She never ever wanted to see anyone go hungry.   She would always have a big hug and a snack for you, and if you were really lucky a ten-gallon pail of potato salad.  She was the kind of woman you could talk with about the hardest parts of your life, and she would always know how to make you feel better.  She was also a bit of an instigator and never lost her sass, even on her last day.  

An incredible fighter, over the last three years Joyce battled multiple forms of cancer along with other illnesses.  There was no doubt that she was a warrior woman and had the strongest will to live. Her loving husband David was by her side at every appointment, every treatment, for every victory and for every setback.  True partners, she found comfort in him and he found strength in her.

Joyce’s family loves one another loudly and proudly.  She showed us all what it truly means to have a full heart and a rich life.  Her joyful life and love was a gift we will forever be thankful for – Wife, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, Daughter, Sister, Aunt and Friend.

*At Joyce’s request, in place of a formal service please celebrate her life by remembering her.
 In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in memory be made to the Strathmore District Health Foundation (

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