I have an Angel watching over me, she is my Mom.
Joyce Elaine Gillanders passed away peacefully at the Kyle and District Health Centre on Monday, August 16, 2021 at the age of 89 years.
Joyce was born on November 1, 1931 at the Douglas farmhouse near Verla, SK. She was the youngest daughter of Frank and Ellen Douglas. Joyce attended grades 1 to 9 at Verla where she enjoyed track and field, bringing home many red ribbons and very much enjoyed the annual Christmas Concerts. She walked the two miles to and from school until she was fortunate enough to get a bicycle which made the trek much easier. She worked after school at the local general store.
Joyce moved to Gull Lake to complete her formal education and boarded with her grandmother in exchange for helping with household duties. She also worked at a confectionary and bakeshop to help pay for room and board. Joyce was a very good athlete and student. She played basketball, softball and competed in track and field. She won the Athletic and General Proficiency awards in Grade 11 and 12.
In February of 1950, Joyce went to Holy Cross Hospital in Calgary, AB to pursue her Nursing diploma. The program was extremely strict (not much time for any hanky-panky). The girls stayed in residence and worked long hours. There was very little cost because they exchanged their labour for education. Joyce graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1953 and won the General Proficiency Award at her graduation. She then worked at Wainwright Municipal Hospital in Alberta for six months before moving to Kyle to work at the almost new (1951) Kyle-Whitebear Union Hospital and to be closer to her sister and best friend, Lavonne Pittman.
Her intention was to stay in Kyle for about six months, however, on a blind date in the fall of 1953 she met the love of her life, Russ Gillanders and decided she would maybe stay a little longer. Joyce married Russell on October 14, 1955 (this October would have been their 66th wedding anniversary) and they started their life together on the family farm near Kyle. Joyce continued nursing until September, 1956 when, except for a brief period in 1961, put her career aside to raise her family. In 1968, she went back to the career she loved and worked part-time until her retirement in 1996. Joyce loved nursing and was very good at it - it was her true calling. She thought of it, not as a job, but more like a hobby. Joyce was able to transition from the old hospital to the new Kyle and District Health Centre to finish her career which was a dream come true. Joyce was on the committee that brought this wonderful facility to our town and was instrumental in the design and completion of the Health Centre which she was very proud of.
Joyce was also a member of the Tuberose Community Club, Order of the Eastern Star, Legion and Kyle Band Association. Joyce very much enjoyed the bus tours and cruises her and Russell were able to take after she retired. She also loved watching her grandkids play hockey whether in Kyle, Minnesota, New York State and all places in between.
Joyce spent most of her life caring for and worrying about others and not worrying about herself. whether it was her patients over many years of nursing, her husband, her children or her grandchildren…others always came first. People who met Joyce were better individuals having known her.
She will be missed greatly and loved forever by her husband Russell, her son Brock (Kathy), grandchildren Dustin (Samantha), great-grandchildren Georgia and Ivy; Kali (Justin Williams), great-grandchildren Leo and Jordyn; Baylee (Dustin Stevenson) and great-grandchild Sawyer. Her son Bayne (Marlene), grandchildren Dieter, Brienna, Brooklyn and Britannia. Her daughter Tara (Russell Bell), grandchildren Brett and Karlie as well as brother in-law Clifford Pittman. Joyce was predeceased by her parents Frank and Ellen Douglas, her sister Yvonne Douglas, her brother Darcy Douglas and her sister Lavonne Pittman.
Joyce's Family wishes to extend our sincere thank you and gratitude to all the staff at the Kyle and District Health Centre. We are so fortunate to have this facility in our community, but, what makes the Health Centre so special is the dedicated, hardworking employees. The love and care you all showed Mom did not go unnoticed. Joyce appreciated it and her family appreciated it more. Thank you so much, you are a special group of individuals.
A Celebration of Joyce's Life was held at the Kyle Elks and Community Hall on Monday, August 23, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., lunch followed. Donations in Joyce's memory can be made to the Kyle and District Health Care Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 153, Kyle, SK, S0L 1T0 or the Kyle Community Sports Centre, P.O. Box 27, Kyle, SK, S0L 1T0.
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