Joanne Louise Stewart

Passed 04/19/2021


Obituary For Joanne Louise Stewart

Joanne (Mitzi) Stewart (nee Ormsbee) – of Halifax, passed away on April 19th, 2021 at the QEII Health Sciences Centre at the age of 70, after a long hard battle with “bulbar onset” ALS. In the early stages, she would often say, “I’m not dying of ALS, I’m living with ALS”. Her cup was always half full as she faced this monster head on. She fought long and hard and never complained. Even after losing her mobility and the ability to speak, she was still a bright shining light, and an inspiration to everyone who knew her.

Joanne leaves behind her devoted and loving husband, Wayne Stewart who loved and cared for her unconditionally. Joanne was diagnosed with ALS in November of 2017 and on Christmas Eve of that same year, Wayne asked her to marry him. A true love story. Wayne is definitely one in a million and he is appreciated more than he’ll ever know.

Joanne also leaves behind her momma Florence Ormsbee, Halifax; her son Matthew Walsh (Tracey), Brookside; her “boys” Luke Walsh, and Ben Walsh, Brookside; her sister Diane Highmore, Halifax; and her sister Penny Ormsbee (Keith), Halifax.

She was predeceased by her late husband Laurie Ryan of Bridgewater; and her father Charles Leslie Ormsbee of Halifax.

Joanne worked for Employment and Immigration (Service Canada) for 35 years where she was admired and respected for her leadership skills. She was best known for her team building workshops, and the Train the Trainer program. Humour and fun was always at the forefront.

She was creative and loved to play. There wasn’t much she didn’t take on with gusto, including: sewing, embroidery, cross stitch, knitting, painting, scrapbooking, doll making, paper crafts, baking, and cooking. She was quite a perfectionist and loved the challenge of fine detailed work. “Martha” Stewart might have been a more fitting name for her.

Joanne’s heart and soul truly belonged to her ScotianAires family, who are a diverse group of women from the Halifax area who perform and compete singing a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. Joanne sang bass, managed costumes, and was always up for a strong competition.

Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of Donald K. Walker Funeral Directors, Dartmouth. Donations in Joanne’s memory may be made to the ALS Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Please sign the guest book and feel free to share photos and stories that are close to your heart. A celebration of life will take place at a future date to be announced. Joanne’s remains will be laid to rest at the Sunrise Cemetery, Prospect, where she can rest in peace surrounded by nature.

Although her light has been extinguished, Joanne lives on in the hearts of everyone who knew her. I’m sure she would want all of us to live fully in her place, and to be the things we all loved most about her.

Love never dies!

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  • 05/22/2021

    This week marked the 50th year since I began working as a public servant, May 17th 1971, at UIC on Spring Garden Road in Halifax. I was privileged to work with and become friends with so many fine people who worked there. Sadly I know many of them have passed away including Laurie Ryan, Joanne's late husband who was a friend and mentor to me so many years ago. I was saddened to learn this week that Joanne passed away three weeks ago and saddened too to read that ALS prevented her and her family from having more opportunities to enjoy retirement. I worked with Joanne in Halifax and then later in Bridgewater. She was a good co-worker, always prepared and helpful and always had a smile on her face. I offer my sincere apologies to her husband, children, other family members and to all her many friends....John Farrell

  • 05/19/2021

    May you Rest in Peace... It was a pleasure knowing you. Your humor always brightened my day. So sorry for your loss Wayne. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • 05/01/2021

    May it help you through these difficult times, knowing that others share in your sorrow. Joanne certainly will be remembered, as she has left such fond memories for us all.

  • 04/30/2021

    My condolences to Joanne's Mom and family ,Wayne and family. Joanne was a beautiful lady.I also worked with Joanne for many years

  • 04/30/2021

    So sad to read of Joanne's passing. We worked together many years ago. A great lady. May she rest in peace now. My sincere condolences to her family.

  • 04/27/2021

    My sincerest condolences to Joanne's family. Mitzi and I were cheerleaders in high school so many years ago. So many great memories from that era, double dating, cheering at all the games. As sometimes happens we loose touch with old friends. Mitzi was always upbeat and happy which I hope helped her through her sickness. Wayne and Donna (Smith) Comeau

  • 04/27/2021

    Mitzi, sister Penny, and their Mom spent a great part of my life. God Bless. Pat and Bless

  • 04/26/2021

    I am so sad to learn of Joanne's passing. I am one of the trainers who benefitted from her mentoring, and shared her tips and tricks with colleagues. She made us all better professionals. I got braces on my teeth a month after Joanne did, and was heartened to see how she coped. Another learning experience for me. My heartfelt sympathy to her whole family.

  • 04/26/2021

    To Joanne's Family,Mom. and Husband. I lost track of JoAnne when Laurie passed away, She was an Engerized individual. I worked beside her for many years at Canada Employment. Cherish your memories of her for they are many.

  • 04/26/2021

    I enjoyed working with Joanne for many years. She was always of good humour and was fun to be around. I have many fond memories of Joanne. Rest In Peace my friend.

  • 04/26/2021

    Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "It's not the length of life but the depth." If this is true, Joanne lived several lifetimes. Joanne and I worked together for many years and our friendship went beyond the work environment. She had the most vibrant personality and we could share a good joke or story and laugh til the tears streamed down our cheeks. I will miss her. Sincere condolences to Joanne's family and many friends.

  • 04/26/2021

    To all of Joanne's family, Words of comfort are very hard to find at a time like this. Saying goodbye to someone we love is heartbreaking. I hope you find comfort in all the special memories you shared with Joanne as a mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, daughter, sister and wife. In the words of Bob Dylan "Take care of your memories for you cannot relive them". Sending hugs to all, Bride Holt

  • 04/26/2021

    So sorry to hear of Mitzi's passing. Although we had not seen each other since elementary school, I so enjoyed being friends on Facebook. It was wonderful seeing all her many crafts, she was certainly so talented and definitely gave 100% to whatever she did. I can only imagine how much she will be missed by all her family and friends. Sending my thoughts and prayers .

  • 04/26/2021

    Joanne and I worked together for many years and have many memories filled with laughter! She was a very special lady with so many talents. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Joanne you lived your life well! God bless you and your family!💞🙏

  • 04/26/2021

    There are lots of good memories of working with this unique and gifted individual. Always came with a smile and patience galore with those she trained and mentored and encouraged. She could make very boring employment insurance training fun and I got so much out of her team building and communication skills sessions!! She was a gem. I will miss our "messenger" connection. My condolences to all of her family and friends as you find your way without her.

  • 04/25/2021

    I worked many years with Joanne and she always was a great sounding board for any ideas i had or a great listener if I was troubled. She treated everyone she met with the same great attitude and that amazing smile of hers. Heaven has another sweet angel in its choir! Condolences to the family and may she rest in peace. She is finally at rest.

  • 04/25/2021

    Do sorry to hear of the loss of Joanne. Worked many years with her and it was a joy to do that especially when training with her. She was so good at that.💞

  • 04/25/2021

    Joanne has left us with many wonderful memories of her passion for life her caring and generosity.She celebrated all occasions Joanne style And we were privileged to receive many of her beautiful hand made cards. They are treasured and stored in an album.She taught my girls to make cards and even designed Zoe's prom invitations. She spoke of her grandsons with great pride. Her soul is free but that little light will shine on in our hearts. Please accept our sincere condolences. Julie , Jeff and family

  • 04/24/2021

    Sincerest condolences to all of Joanne's family. I have many fond memories of our times together both at work and outside work. She was my boss but also my dear friend 💔 Til we meet again on the other side ❤

  • 04/23/2021

    Matt, Tracey, Luke and Ben, sending heartfelt condolences on the loss of your Mom and grandmother. She had a life well lived and is now out of pain. Wishing you peace and comfort as you come to terms with her loss. My deepest sympathies to her husband and the rest of your families.

  • 04/23/2021

    My sincere condolences to all of Joanne's family. I knew Joanne while working through the many years of departmental name changes, now Service Canada and always enjoyed her pleasant and energetic personality whenever our paths crossed at training sessions. I am sure she will be dearly missed by all who knew her. I pray that she may now Rest In Peace.

  • 04/23/2021

    I wish to offer our sincerest condolences to Wayne and all members of the family. Our thoughts and Prayers are with the Families through this difficult time. RIP Joanne ❤🙏🌹

  • 04/22/2021

    Sending my deepest Sympathies to Wayne ,Joanne's mom & rest of the family. Nan Bowlin

  • 04/22/2021

    I'm sending my heart felt condolences to Mitzi's husband , son , grandchildren and my Aunt Floss , Diane and Penny . She was an inspiration to all who knew her . My wish for the family is to speak her name often and remember the great memories she left you . May God bless you and give you strength .

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