Passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 3, 2020, just shy of her 56th birthday. Originally from Winnipeg, Joanne called several international cities her home with IKEA, before settling for the last number of years in Vancouver.
Joanne was predeceased by her mother Shirley, and her father Joe. She is mourned by all whose lives were touched by her presence, including her brother Lenny and his wife Shelley, her Aunt's Norma and Helen, cousins Kent, Mike, Lauren (Dean and daughter Georgia), Meghan (Mark and children Caleb, Theo and Willow); Morgan (son Charlie): Yolanda, Susan, Lisa, Brad, Darren, Janice, Angela, and Andrea (and their children); friends, Tracy (Bob and children James, Matthew, Alexander, and Brittany), Jennifer, Rosalie and their children, her Martorana sorella's and families, Linda and Guy Mercier and their children Daniella, Sophia, and Sam, and a number of other special friends and colleagues including Patricia and David from Equitable Property Management.
Joanne’s self-made successes, both personally and professionally, were achieved with the greatest of integrity. She was a conductor in her life, always guided by head and heart; not by what was easy, but what was right. She was admired, respected and will be missed by all. Her life was a concert of head and heart and the conductor was her integrity.
Full of contradiction, she was at times audacious and at times both fierce and kind, independent and intimate. She openly displayed her wicked sense of humor and made it her mission to encourage those around her to be and do better. These qualities earned her a life full of rich experiences and life long, loyal friendships.
Joanne loved children and was an integral part of the lives of several of her extended family and friends’ kids’ lives. Generous to a fault, Aunty JoJo brought joy to young and old through the mail, by phone and in person by remembering people not only on their special day, but always.
The hole that she has left in all our hearts is endless and although we are eternally grateful for the time we were blessed with, she left us all too soon.
Due to the spread of family geographically and the number of COVID restrictions, a service will be held at a later time, yet to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Make a Wish Foundation of Canada
Dear Leonard and family, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Joanne's passing via her obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press. I grew up on Balfour Avenue in Winnipeg too and Joanne and I started kindergarten at Ashland School on the same day. We often walked to and from school together, went to each other's birthday parties and shared childhood milestones big and small. I was touched that Joanne reached out to me when my dad died (in 2009) and enjoyed reconnecting with her after so many years. Life took both of us very far away from Balfour Avenue and the 'little girls' we once were but I'll always remember Joanne's kindness, energy and good humour, as well as her 'purple maxi coat,' an item of clothing I coveted in elementary school and still think of whenever I see anyone wearing a purple coat of any type! With sympathy, Shelagh Squire (childhood friend).
We loved her! She made our building feel like a home, or rather a ship where you were never afraid the captain was asleep at the helm. - Eleanor & Chris
To the Graceffo's She is an amazing person ....my condolences !!!
I'm So shocked and in disbelief, the world has lost an amazing woman ... I will miss you jojo 💕... deepest condolences to Len and family
My sincres sympathy to Lenny And Helen for the lost of Joanne Aime Bourgeois
I am so, so sorry to hear of Joanne's untimely passing. We became friends through BDI days in Winnipeg, 3+ decades ago, and kept in occasional touch over the years. She was always a breath of fresh air, effective, and extremely thoughtful. My deep sympathies to her family.
I am do sorry to hear of Joannes passing. Rest In Peace Joanne and my condolences to Len and all the family . David strong / Australia
I am very sorry to hear of Joanne's passing. May you Rest In Peace and my condolences to Len and all the family - david strong-australia
Lenny and Lenny. Our deepest sympathy on the loss of your sister Joanne. Our thoughts are with you and Shelley and family at this sad time. .love And hugs Lenny from your cousins Sally Shkut (Graceffo) Mississauga, ON , Valerie Strong (Graceffo) Winnipeg
Posting the Tyee article I wrote about Joanne: https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2020/12/17/Elegy-Building-Manager/
Joanne, your radiance and beaming positivity will be missed by so many. To Joanne's family, I am so sorry for your loss. Know Joanne touched everyone around her and will be missed deeply.
Sorry to hear of Jo's passing. . Joanne was a friend and mentor to many, she lived her life with great joy and vigor! Take comfort knowing that she spread that joy with her big smile and bigger heart everywhere she went.
So sad to hear of Joannes passing. I work with her for many years at Richmond Ikea. She lite up a room with her energy and humour. My sincerest condolences.
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