Born at Rock Bay, BC, daughter to Ethel and Harold Redford, Joan grew up in Kelsey Bay and Campbell River. After graduating from Carihi, she worked as a legal secretary at Caldwell and Sharpe. She married Bruce Luoma in 1963, and in 1967 they moved to their home on Birch Street, where they raised their children, ran a small trucking business and devoted free time to gardening and home improvements. Joan also worked for many years at the Campbell River Courthouse, retiring from a court clerk position in 2002.
From the first, Joan added her own bright energy to the ethos of hard work, self-reliance and fairness that she so admired in her parents and grandparents. Striving always for excellence, she welcomed new ideas, never glossed over details, and treated obstacles as challenges. She was a superb employee, a master cook and gardener, and a deeply dedicated wife, parent and friend. She took particular joy in hosting delicious feasts with vegetables fresh from her garden, and she photographed the special moments of every gathering.
Joan’s recipe for happiness combined unwavering commitment with a generous spirit. Focused always on the positive, quick to see the bigger picture, instinctively loving and empathetic, she was slow to judge and endlessly forgiving. If she could help, she was there. Joan lived her life guided by the golden rule and sought always to do the right thing. She keenly followed the issues of the day, and strongly supported efforts to protect the natural environment and make the world a more caring place. Energetic and infinitely curious, she never lost a zest for life that was perhaps most evident in her amazing ability to connect imaginatively with children.
Although almost never still, Joan found relaxation in sunny summer days-on the boat in Desolation Sound and at Savary Island, on the beach at Oyster Bay, in a wide variety of travel destinations, or simply at home in her bountiful garden, the laundry drying on the line.
For the past two years, determined, as always, to make the most of each day, Joan faced terminal illness with astounding strength, courage and grace. And when life no longer granted her any enjoyment, or even comfort, she drew her family around her and accepted the end without fear or hesitation. Her only regret was not having the energy to write holiday greetings this year. But those of us who would have received them know that she did her best to make her life one long love letter.
Joan leaves behind Bruce, her husband of 55 years; her daughter Julie (John Douglas); her son Todd (Erica McClaren); two brothers, Ray (Andre Abboud) and Jim (Wendy Smith); her nephew Mark; two adored and adoring grandsons, Finn and Seymour; and cousins Percy (Adrian), John (Els) and Kathy (Tom). Also among those mourning are two aunts, Donna Redford and Irene Armstrong; Luoma family nieces and nephews Sandra, Doreen, Bill, Alan, Terry, Michael and their partners, children and grandchildren; close life-long friends Barbara, Dolly, Donna and Heather; former work colleagues; and new friends and family members Della, Marilyn and Milton.
Joan was grateful to the many health care practitioners who helped her, in particular: Drs. Sulpher, Prinsloo and Farias, the nurses at the Campbell River Cancer Care Unit, the community palliative care team and Thrifty’s pharmacy.