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Joan Corner

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Joan Corner

January 7, 1935 - June 20, 2012


Evelyn Joan Corner died peacefully at home in Willow Point, Nelson, BC, after a brief but devastating illness, on June 20, 2012, in the loving presence of her family. A memorial service was held on June 25, 2012, at St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral, Nelson, with the Rev. Gail Clifton officiating, assisted by the Rev. Sue Basek and the Rev. Marcella Mugford. Beautiful singing was provided by a choir of 16 friends, nicely accompanied by the organist, Tobias Jenny. Joan was born on Jan. 7, 1935, in Nelson BC, to Eric Arthur Stromstead and Evelyn Myrtle Stromstead. Joan attended Central Elementary School and graduated from Nelson H.S. in 1952, after which she completed Teacher Training at Van. Normal School. She was involved in many athletic activities as a child. Despite her own fear of water, Joan’s mother took her swimming as a baby. Joan loved the water, and could swim by age 3; she was a swimming instructor by age 14, beginning her natural vocation as a teacher. During High School, she was a Lifeguard at Lakeside Park. Joan met Ian, the love of her life, while swimming across Kootenay Lake. Joan began piano lessons in Grade 2. That was the start of a lifelong love of, and relationship with, music. She first studied with Sister Scholastica of St. Joseph’s. Joan loved going to the convent. It was a special place for her – the silence, the swish of robes – all were impressive to a small child. Joan continued piano studies with Mrs. Fraser, who was a great proponent of Festival work, and for the last 3 years of lessons Joan was made to enter the Music Festival each spring, much to her chagrin. She did, however, win top honours and a bursary for continuing study. Though she didn’t like playing in public, Joan was chosen to be the first person to play Nelson’s new Grand piano at a concert in the Civic Theatre, featuring Festival winners. In 1954 she travelled overseas as accompanist with the Elgar Choir’s Fifth British Tour. Upon her return, she started her first teaching job in Oliver, BC. Her education had prepared her well, and had made her realize how important it was to teach each student, not with a “ one way fits all “ approach. This insight was a great help when she was later to teach Special Needs children. In Grade 9, Joan joined the school band, playing clarinet. She also played the piano for the orchestra and girl’s choir, Grades 9-12. Her music was a great asset; she was able to use it effectively in teaching. She started the school band program at Salmo School, and later in the ‘70’s was the band leader at Mt. Sentinal in South Slocan. While at Blewett Elementary she worked with learning-disabled students and started writing songs for children. After retiring, she continued writing songs for students at Central School where she was Grandfriending. Also, she helped them with musicals by conducting the choir and writing songs when needed. Joan wrote the Hume School Song at that time. Joan took on many musical challenges. She conducted “ the Magic Flute “ at the Capitol Theatre. She self-published a “ Rock album “, a teaching package about Geology and the fantastic way various rocks are formed. “Seasons”, another project, was a whimsical and instructive album of songs about Nature, Joan’s constant delight. Joan experienced a gradual and deepening relationship with God over the years. Her questing spirit led her to truth in various ways. One path was to the former St. Andrew’s by the Lake Church. There she joined the Education for Ministry group and found much to read, research, and discuss with those of like minds. Studies helped her get “ beyond belief “, as Marcus Borg said, and to “ relationship”. In her words, she had moved away from the religion of her childhood to begin a personal relationship with the Holy One. Joan felt more at peace than she ever had been in her life, and felt, because of this relationship, an internal softening, accepting, and strength. This peace was due to a surrendering and resting in God. She said, “ shift from the head to the heart “. Therein lies God. She was so grateful that God had been there all those years, waiting for her to say “Yes”. Joan’s surrendering to God was reflected in all her Homilies which she was licensed to deliver periodically at St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral, where she had been an active member. All who met Joan were touched by her spirit. All who knew Joan found her loving, gentle, beautiful, and constantly delighted by the good in the world. Joan is sadly missed by her devoted husband Ian, daughter Jody (Kenton), son Ian (Cathy), grandchildren Baylie and David, sister Terrie, sister-in-law Joan, and numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Joan’s loving friends for their unfailing support and love during her illness. Special thanks to Dr. McKechnie for his attentive and gentle care, and to Home Care nurses Cindy and Carolyn for their kind, caring and sensitive treatment. Also grateful thanks for the many beautiful floral arrangements in the Church and received at home from loving friends and family.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff send our condolences to family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

From: Arlene McMillin
Relation: colleague

I was so sad to hear of the passing of Joan. I remember her well in School District 7 activities. She will be missed. Sympathies to family and friends.

From: Arlene Woods
Relation: friend

Ian and family, I am so sorry to hear about Joan’s passing. I wish I had known, I would’ve attended the service. There aren’t many people that make a positive mark in a persons life but Joan was definitely one of them. She was a great teacher to my children at Blewett school…loved the songs she made up and the hugs that were given.
We will surely miss you Joan.

From: Pat Pendergast
Relation: pat_pendergast@hotmail.com

Mrs. Corner, was my band teacher at Mount Sentinel. I now realize she has been gone now for over year, but I wanted to pass on my condolences to her family. Also, I have to tell you what wonderful teach er she was. She use to spend hours with me, working with me playing my sax. She use to have me play solos in concerts, which I was terrified to do but she gave me the confidence to it. She was by far one of my favourite teachers I ever had during my academic career. I remember being very upset when she Mount Sentinel. My sax playing went downhill after she left, because no one would spend the time to work with me and continue to make me grow as a musician. I actually quit playing about a year after she left. The other teachers I had, just didn’t have the time for me like she did. She was a wonderful person and teacher and I have never forgotten her. I know her family is proud of who she was and I wanted you to know I was very proud to be her student. I am sad to just find out of her passing, and to her family I would like to send my deepest sympathies. I am thankful for having known her, all be it has been many years. Its been 30+ years since I last saw her but I remember her like it was yesterday. I wish her family well and I hope your pain of her loss is lessening, even though you will always love her and miss her.

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
June 25, 2012
Beginning at 11:00am

St. Saviour''s Pro-Cathedral
723 Ward Street
Nelson , BC Canada V1L 1T3

723 Ward Street
Nelson , BC Canada V1L 1T3

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
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