Joan Vanderkooy


On Friday, June 10th, Joan relinquished her fine spirit in the late afternoon at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. Her beloved daughter, Jill, and son-in-law, Valur, were by her side at her final, sacred hour. Born during the Great Depression in a rural farmhouse in Central Ontario to Norman and Victoria Hodge, she was an only child who climbed many obstacles in her ninety long years.


She is survived by her lifelong friends, C. Arthur Downes, Rodney McKeen, her former husband, Wim Vanderkooy (Terri), and the multitude of friends around the globe whose lives she touched. She had an indomitable spirit, an unyielding zest for life and she will be deeply missed. She fought for human rights, animal rights, and against racism and homophobia – she was inclusive before anyone coined the phrase. Her other passions included Jazz music, travel and art, but she will mostly be remembered for her love of entertaining her friends, who were blessed to know her.


Sincere gratitude goes to all the amazing staff at Belmont House, Joan’s Long-Term Care Home, for her last nine years. The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) on Saturday, June 18th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.  The funeral service will be held in the Chapel on Sunday, June 19th at 11:00 a.m.


In lieu of flowers and in honour of Joan’s generous spirit, donations can be made to The Annex Cat Rescue, The Alzheimer Society of Toronto, Belmont House Foundation, or the charity of your choice.   Condolences may be forwarded through


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