October 17, 1926 – June 20, 2016
Helen Joyce (Arthur) Elphinstone passed away June 20, 2016. We feel the loss keenly but hope she is free of pain and reunited with her beloved husband Norm.
Joyce is survived by her cherished sons and families: Rob Elphinstone and Debbie Hearn and their daughters Cassandra and Melanie; Dave Elphinstone and Ellen Gasser and their daughter Erin; and Jim Elphinstone and Debra Ransom and their children Michael and Robyn, as well as by nieces and nephews.
Joyce grew up in Winnipeg in the Scottish Arthur family. Her mother died when Joyce was just 5.
Joyce and Norm began their life together in Swift Current before raising their family in Calgary. It was an active life that included lots of camping, hiking, skiing and later birding. They were active first in St Matthew’s United Church, later Knox United and finally the Unitarian Church of Calgary.
When the boys were all in school, Joyce entered university, eventually becoming a special education teacher at Christine Meikle School and Dr. Gordon Townsend School at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. She always felt for, and tried to help, those in difficulty.
After retirement, Joyce and Norm explored the natural world around Calgary and also travelled extensively. This included Joyce teaching English at university in Shanghai in the mid-1980’s and then leading tours of China with Norm.
Norm left her too early when he died in 1991. Joyce carried on and established her life as an active, intelligent, inquiring, and independent woman. She studied qi gong with Dr Steven Aung in Edmonton and intensively studied qi gong healing with Master Peng in Vancouver. She also studied reiki and formed a healing circle with good friends in Calgary.
Joyce always wanted to live by water, and in 2001, at the age of 75, she bravely moved to Nanaimo and enjoyed many years in her waterfront condo connecting with others as she walked her precious dogs, Meg and then Jeannie, along the seawall. She loved her agility training with Meg.
As she developed her new life by the water, she appreciated and maintained her ongoing friendships across the mountains in Calgary and north at the qi gong group in Edmonton.
She cherished her family and especially treasured her time with her much loved grandchildren.
Joyce was fiercely independent but had the support of her son, Rob, and his family in Nanaimo. More recently, we are grateful to the staff and community at Lakeside Gardens, who, with Rob, helped her get by as her health and mobility became more limited.
A small memorial will be held Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 10:00 am at First Memorial Funeral Chapel at 1720 Bowen Rd., Nanaimo.
In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice if you so please.
And until we meet again,
May you rest in the palm of God’s hand.