After a long and well lived life, our mum passed away peacefully on November 9th, at the age of 89.
Joyce was born on January 20, 1928 to Samuel and Winifrede (nee Reed) Smith in Manchester, England. She spent a happy childhood there, surrounded by a large extended family. After completing her secondary education, her plans to become an interpreter for the Foreign Service changed by chance, instead she became a teacher – which was her true calling. She achieved her teaching degree from St. Mary’s College in Bangor, Wales and formed lifelong friendships with some of her school chums with whom she corresponded with until her passing.
An adventurous soul, Joyce hitch-hiked across Europe twice, in 1951 and 1952, with her friend Angela, “hostel-linking”. The first trip is what led her to Michael (Mieczyslaw) Bak, our Dad. Mike emigrated from Poland to Canada in 1951 eventually making his way to Ocean Falls, and after a plethora of love letters, mum sailed from England in 1954, continuing to Vancouver where they were married the day after she arrived.
They immediately left for Ocean Falls where soon thereafter Richard and Christine were born, and the family spent many happy years there. In 1973 Joyce & Mike moved to Campbell River to join their children, buying a house on Delvecchio Road where they remained for 34 years, forging exceptional friendships with their Delvecchio neighbours.
Joyce began her teaching career in Manchester, and in Ocean Falls, mum taught Grades 2 & 3. Childhood education was a passion of hers, and upon arriving in Campbell River she began a new career in Early Childhood Education at the Leishman Child Care Centre where she worked until her retirement.
She held many fond memories of time spent with her co-workers, staying in touch long after retirement as the Lunch Bunch. In retirement Joyce joined the CR Genealogy Club, and was delighted to have traced her family history back to the late 1700’s.
Joyce was predeceased by her parents, her brother James, and her beloved husband Michael whom she missed dearly.
She leaves behind her children, Richard and Christine (Sheldon) Robinson, and will remain forever in their hearts.
Mum will also be missed by her many friends and her relatives in England.
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude to the wonderful staff at New Horizons 3rd floor for the years of care and kindness they gave our mum.
A Celebration of Life will be held in January.