Peacefully, at Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 in her 80th year. Joan, beloved wife of David. Loving mom of Bruce and his wife Cathy, Wayne and his wife Aki, and John and his wife Marina. Proud Grandmother of Christopher, Dorian, and Emerson “EJ”. Dear sister of Marie Hall and her husband Gavin, and Jim Prudom and his wife Rhonda. Predeceased by her parents Milton and Kathleen Prudom and her infant sister Carol Prudom.
Joan was born in Sarnia, Ontario on April 24, 1942. She met her husband Dave while in high school, and attended Western University from 1960 to 1962. She transferred from Western to the University of Waterloo in 1962 and married Dave later that same year. She graduated at the Fifth Convocation of UW in 1963. In 1964 Joan and Dave moved to Owen Sound where they both started teaching at the recently opened West Hill Secondary School. Joan was the first woman to teach mathematics at the school, and tutored countless students over the years. She left teaching to devote her time to raising her three boys and over the years likely drove over 1 million km to lessons, hockey, soccer, music festivals, highland games and concerts. Even with 3 busy boys, Joan found time to quilt and shared her quilts with others. Joan was a founding member of the Georgian Bay Symphony and held the roles of treasurer and librarian. She played violin, viola and cello, teaching hundreds over the years from ages 4 to 74. Joan organized the student orchestra and week long summer camps. She retired from teaching violin in 2003. Retirement left time for Joan to become an avid amateur astronomer, joining the Bluewater Astronomical Society and purchasing a M31 meadow for dark site. Joan and Dave were inspired by astronomy to travel the world, attending astronomy events in Australia, Egypt, Turkey, China and the southern US. In 2012 Joan and Dave celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They travelled frequently to Connecticut to visit their son John and in 2019 travelled to Japan to visit Wayne where they embraced the Japanese culture and food. Joan joined the Shoreline Chorus, participated in the KW Community String School and continued to teach and coach cello students. She began practicing Tai Chi and recently oversaw the transition of Collingwood Tai Chi to a new independent group in Owen Sound.
Joan touched countless lives over the years. The messages of support, sympathy and condolences are heartwarming, and some have been shared below.
A Celebration of Joan's life will be held on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at 3:30pm at M31 Andromeda Meadow, 483128 Colpoys Range Road, Georgian Bluffs, Ontario.
Memorial donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Owen Sound Hospital Foundation would be appreciated by the family.
Messages of Condolence
• Michael McLuhan - She was a bright light for so many of us.
• Liz Huyer (GBS violinist) - she was an integral part of the music community
• Kristen Chaddah (mother of violin students) - one of the most determined people I’ve ever met
• Hector Vasquez (cellist, immigrated to Canada in 2007) - Joan was a great human being, she give me her hand when I was new in the country ,always bringing presents from her garden and that delicious bread that she used to make, she opens her home for me and family but the most beautiful was her bears giving me advice and strength
• Sarah Flatt (mother of Bruce’s violin student) - We have fond memories of watching your mom play cello and joining in at the strings school
• Judy Larkin-Galoska (mother of students) - Your Mom was such a creative and dynamic person. Her humour and intelligence sparkled. I’m grateful that I had the pleasure of knowing her and for the kindness, support and encouragement she gave our family. Greg and I were so fortunate to share our time with her.
• Heather Dyer (Bass player, participant in summer camp and GBS) - She was such an amazing person. I always remember her a so full of joy and energy. She was always happy and encouraging.
• Tyler Beckett - this news breaks my heart. Your Mom has forever made an impact like nearly no other on my life. It’s my wife Devan and my anniversary today and we would never have met if it weren’t for music and Mrs Skelton’s violin lessons! Her impact on countless other lives is immeasurable…she will be missed.
• Jamie Broomhead (violin student) - Oh no, my heart hurts for you all with this news Bruce. I don’t know where to start, she really helped to shape so much of my life and was such a kind, caring and incredible woman. I was thinking about her just last week and was going to ask my Mom for her contact so I could reach out about Wiggles and Dots. I’ve shared the news with my Mom as well, I’m sure she’ll be in touch as she too was very saddened to hear.
• Patricia Rose (student and parent of a violin student) - She was such a big part of our lives for so many years. As you were.
• Sandra Swannell (GBS violist) - I loved your mom's wry sense of humour and never ending generous heart. She was always very kind to me.
• Stephen Hay (viola student) - I have so many good memories of my time with her that all the music is actually #2 to all the laughs and support that were so important to me and that were #1.
• Kathy McCarthy (parent of violin students) - I can't imagine your Dad without your Mom. She was just so amazing Bruce, and what an impact she had young people in this area. The time spent at violin lessons, violin camp, playing parties, etc. largely contributed to making my girls into the wonderful people that they are today.
• David Samuel (violin student of Bruce, participant in summer camp) - She was such a lovely human being and I know how much this hurts.
• Emily Aquin (violin student of Bruce, participant in summer camp and GBS) - Your Mom is an incredible soul and she had an indelible impact on my life. I'm thinking and praying for you and your family.
• Mollie Wilson (GBS cellist) - I just loved your mom. All those years side by side. All the laughter. I’m so sorry for your and your dad’s and brothers’ loss. She was truly one of the most inspiring women in my life.
• Rebecca Rose (violin student) - Joan was an amazing woman and a big part of my childhood and adolescent life.
• Earl McCluskie (horn player in GBS) - I have many fond memories from my earlier life that your Mom and Dad were a part of, eg. a corn roast with the Canadian Brass as guests after a concert the Georgian Bay Community Orchestra hosted. If you were to bump into Chuck Daellenbach, he would remember that day!
• Gena Van Dorp (parent of violin students) - Jody and I were remembering her days of lessons,practice (or not) and the lasting treasure music brings. Thanks to your family for sharing her with us. She was a special presence in other circles as well.
• Kelly Kuczak (parent of violin student) - What and amazing brilliant and beautiful lady she was and I am so grateful to have been taught by her to have been her friend .
• Bea Chan (violin student, parent of violin student) - Sara and I have such fond memories of being part of Joan’s violin student group—the concerts and summer camps were wonderful. We worked hard to learn the music but also enjoyed the challenge and the camaraderie.
• Grace MacPherson-Granger (fellow chorister) - Your Mom was a wonderful, fun-loving, enthusiastic lady. I got to know her through Shoreline rehearsals and trips, Tai Chi and frequent chats at the Y. We shared the love of the Big Bay area: Joan and Dave with the land by Skinner’s Bluff. Me with a cottage on the water. Joan willingly participated in my Shoreline fundraiser songs. Whenever I needed an extra person to help make my “solo” more interesting, I knew I could count on Joan. I can still see her, at the last fundraiser, dressed as a farmer , dancing with a scarecrow as we sang,”Plant a Radish”(from the musical The Fantasticks) Your Mom even created an extra verse about planting zucchini for that performance.
• Carolyn Pratt (parent of Bruce’s violin student) - Her name brings back so many memories. In 1993 when we moved to Owen Sound I was given her name as a violin teacher for David.
• Cathy Todd (Tai Chi) - To say that we are all so sad would be an understatement and my heart goes out to all of you. I know it will not be a surprise that we all cherished your Mum . She was one in a million. I had often said to your Mum that I never expected to make new friends in my ‘senior years ‘, but I am so grateful that I did . Tai chi provided that connection for us and since we both liked to talk, we would often share our thoughts on just how we could make things better. At Tai Chi today, many of the members shared memories of some of the countless ways in which she contributed. As I think Doug Price told you, she was the glue that kept the group connected over the last 21 months.
• Sally Carruthers (former WHSS teacher) - Joan was such a spark of life! She will be sorely missed by many! Myself included. It has been such a sad year when we can't meet and greet one another trade stories about our families and friends and funny incidents. I was looking forward to seeing Joan, and Dave, at the Lecture series perhaps in the New Year, where we regularly met. - We've know one another since we all 3, were brand new! teachers at West Hill in the 1960’s!
• Cheryl Dawson (Tai Chi) - your lovely Mom was someone I am so proud to call my good friend, a talk on the phone would end with a surprise we had been chatting for an hour. I will truly miss those chats and her knowledge of all things from astronomy, tai chi, music and most of all gardening, I received seedlings and a lot of helpful growing how to hints from her. She will be missed greatly by all who knew her.
• Eileen Farrow (cello student) - As you know your mom was a great lady who could manage every task thinkable. She will be missed but treasured by all who knew her. May we all carry her music with us.
• Dorothy Livsey (Tai Chi) - Joan was one of the most unique and delightful people I've had the pleasure to know. Her presence at Tai Chi will be greatly missed. Her weekly NNB's were so much fun and I looked forward to them each week to see what on earth she'd come up with. I am saddened beyond words
• Caroline Elliott (Tai Chi) - I knew your mom through the Astronomy Club and Tai Chi and the YMCA. Many lovely talks with her over the years when I first arrived in this area from Toronto.
• Bettilyn Berglund (neighbour) - I am experiencing thoughts and memories of ...Curly and violin lessons; the garden; Tai Chi; Curly and Joan and the Silver C's song, "When I Grow Too Old To Dream"; Dark Sky at the Meadow; wonderful food, always. And many more.
• Sue Dugard (cello student) - She was a great inspiration to me and many others. I will miss her. We had emailed recently and she told me of her Atrial Fib problem. It was because of her that I persevered with my cello bringing me many hours of pleasure. She spoke very fondly and proudly of all you boys.
• Norine Broomhead (cellist, parent of violin student) - I’ve know your family for a long time now, and always enjoyed my time with your mom and her cello mentoring.