Viola Joy Baker

Viola Joy Baker

In loving memory of an extraordinary person—a daughter, a devoted sister and aunt; a wife, a mother, a fond grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother. A special friend who touched those who knew her.

Joy left us on June 4, 2010, to continue life’s journey after a courageous battle with cancer. She looked forward to joining loved ones who had passed—her parents, John and Ruth, her sister Etta, her husband Harry, her little daughter, Gaila Rae, and her grandsons, Bobby, Jr. and Shawn.

She is survived by her children and step-children, Bob (Patsy), Willy, Vera, Leo (Chris), Hank (Linda), Cheryl (Ron), John (Sophia), and Jim; as well as grandchildren, Connie (Tommy) and Janet (Todd); Michael, Timothy and Joan; Dan, David, Mark (Joann) and Kathie; Angela (Paul), Arlene (Bruce) and Scott (Simone); Jill, Tessa and Cheri; Christopher (Lesley); and by her dear sister, Elayne.

Joy has 18 great-grandchildren: Dominic, Andrew, Chelsea, Bobby, Mike, Shaun and Karina (Aaron); Zachari and Jacob; Erin, Samuel, Liam, Grace, Nicholas and Alyson; Amalie and Alya; and Callum, who arrived just 10 days after her passing. She has one great-great-grandchild, Adrien.

She was born on September 4, 1927, at Cedaridge, Colorado, to John and Julia “Ruth” Claussen. After graduating high school, Joy left the family ranch for nurse’s training. She met her husband, Harry, in 1955, at Port Orchard, Washington. He was born in 1901 at River Beaudette, Quebec, but spent much of his life working in the States where he met Joy.

Early on, they began exploring Canada and found they loved British Columbia and the Quesnel area. In 1970, Harry reestablished his Canadian “roots” when he and Joy emigrated to BC. They settled at Titetown Lake, near Quesnel, and after Harry’s passing in 1993, Joy continued there.

For years, Harry and Joy spent their winters at Yuma, Arizona, returning to BC with the spring thaw. Even after Harry passed on, Joy continued to join her sister, Elayne, in Yuma—where the two sisters enjoyed a special “autumn-of-life” time together. They treasured their “sister” days, so-named because each week they set aside a day to share a meal, see a movie, savor a mocha, and reminisce about their childhood antics—which were legend!

Joy was well known for her love of gardening and ability to grow wonderful flower and vegetable gardens. She was honored when her story and flowers appeared in the April 2000 issue of Gardens West, titled “The Challenge of Wilderness Gardening” by Stephanie Waring. Joy loved sharing her “green thumb” with friends and neighbors.

To doctors Morne’ Smit and Gideon Smit, for their compassionate care during Joy’s last days—our heartfelt gratitude. And to the nursing staff at G.R. Baker, thank you. To all the people who checked on Joy’s wellbeing at Fraser Village, to the manager, Kelly—a special thanks.

A private memorial service will be held for family and friends at Titetown Lake, during August of 2011, date to be arranged. Donations may be made to the Canadian and American Cancer Societies, and the Canadian Red Cross (Quesnel) who so kindly lent medical devices.

To a loving, amazingly strong and independent woman who weathered so many storms with an uplifted spirit and a giving heart—our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, our sister, our aunt—our friend. We love you.

We miss you.

Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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