Joan Isabel Megarrell (nee Scanlon), beloved wife of Steve, mother of Ryan and sister of Rick, died suddenly on August 22, 2021, at the age of 71.
Joan spent all her life helping others. As a nurse driven by a deep desire to care for people both professionally and in her personal life, she touched the lives of countless people. Joan is remembered for her indomitable spirit, irreverent wit and life-long commitment to helping those in need.
Born on November 15th, 1949, in North Bay, Ontario, to Bert and Barbara Scanlon, Joan became interested in nursing at an early age, exposed to the profession by her neighbour Audrey, her aunt and older cousins.
While still a teenager, she spent a summer working at a psychiatric facility in North Bay. This experience set the direction for the rest of her career.
Joan went on to study at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. After graduating, she worked as an ER nurse at Toronto’s Northwestern Hospital before focusing on psychiatric nursing, first at York-Finch Hospital and then at Mississauga Hospital.
In 1980, Joan stepped back from her career to raise her son, Ryan, and to help Steve manage his growing electronics business. Never one to stand on the sidelines, Joan would become the leader of Ryan’s Beaver and Cub Scout troops. She was also very active in figure skating and swimming and was on the disaster planning committee for the City of Brampton.
Joan went on to become an instructor and a volunteer with St. John Ambulance. By the time of the 1998 ice storm, she had been promoted to the role of superintendent of the Brampton St. John brigade. Ever cool in a crisis, she was in charge of a community centre to help victims of the disaster. For her service with the organization, she was named a Sister of the Order of St. John by the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall.
In the early 2000s, Joan joined the healthcare management company Wellserve, focusing on industrial nursing. She went on to earn her industrial workplace health and safety certificate and retired in 2019.
Joan loved spending time at her Lake Nipissing cottage in the company of her family, including her much loved brother, Rick, and his wife, Lorraine, as well as her many canine companions, including Winnie, who survives her.
Joan’s favourite place was the Point, a piece of the Canadian Shield on her family property. It is fitting that she passed away there, in the company of people she loved.
A small outdoor celebration of Joan’s life was held at the Point, on the south shore of Lake Nipissing, on August 29 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to St. John Ambulance.
Joan will be missed by all who knew her.
There will be another memorial in Guelph in September.
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