September 13, 2019
Laura “Joyce” Beek (Lee), aged 90, passed away Sept 13, 2019, at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital. Predeceased by husband Cornelis (Neill/”Kees”), survived by children: Lesley (Winston), Lynne (Ernie) and Kees (Louanne); grandchildren Kyle (Piper), Danielle (Anders), Alex, Noah, Maddie; great-grandchildren Rafael, Jyn, Teo and numerous nieces and nephews.
Joyce was the youngest of five girls born to Elsie and John Lee of Dauphin, Man.
Growing up during the depression, frugality, born of necessity, became a life long value. Joyce entered the teaching profession at a tender age, travelling to work in Marysville, BC but it wasn’t long before family drew her back to Manitoba. It was in Dauphin where she met and married Neill(Kees). Early married years centred around raising a family, attending church, teaching piano, playing bridge and enjoying athletic pursuits: tennis and curling were lifelong favourites. She was the skip of the team that represented Manitoba in the 1966 Canadian Ladies Curling Championships, now known as the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. A move to Yorkton, Sask in 1967 brought about a return to teaching and collaboration with Anna Gertrude Ingham, the author of the Blended Sound-Sight reading method. Joyce became an enthusiastic proponent of and advocate for this program throughout the remainder of her teaching years, the balance of which were spent in Regina, Sk. Her teaching career provided her with fulfillment and purpose throughout much of her life.
Retirement inspired a move from Regina back to the East Kootenays. In addition to being active and involved in the church community (always a priority throughout her life), retirement also afforded her the freedom to explore other interests: creative writing in particular. Joyce took greatest pride in achieving the status of author when she published an autobiographical collection of short stories, entitled “The First Meadowlark”.
Although her final years were affected by health challenges, she never lost her “pioneer” spirit. Thank-you to her devoted friends: Soonja and Pamela (Cranbrook); Esther and Anne(Regina) and Dave (Winnipeg); Many thanks as well to the staff of the East Kootenay Regional Hospital, and above all, to the staff of Joseph Creek, for all the care and support they have provided over the past few years.
Funeral services to be held in Cranbrook at Knox Presbyterian Church at 11 am, Friday, Sept 20
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