Joan Mary Bosse
6th March 1927 – 2nd July 2022
Joan Mary Bosse was a fun-loving, resilient woman who overcame many adversities during her 95 years but a Covid-related bout with pneumonia proved too much and she left this world on 2nd July 2022 surrounded by her loving family.
Joan had been preparing for this next chapter for many years. Not a visit went by without her offering a family member some random item to take home because “one day, I’m going to go to Heaven and I won’t need this stuff”. Of course, she was right as usual.
Her six children fondly remember the daily phone calls to each of them in which she would provide the “latest news” about what each of the others was doing. Stories were usually repeated day after day until something new happened which allowed the daily narrative change. Her stories were always positive and told with obvious pride and love in her heart. She was a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, mentor and the best friend a person could have, and she will be sorely missed by all who loved her.
Joan’s life was not without hardships which she overcame with humor, strength and determination. She outlived three husbands, raised six children from her first marriage, and even survived a bout with cancer. She never complained about anything despite having many reasons to do so. She was the eternal optimist; loving, supportive, and always caring. She told everyone she met how proud she was of her family and they in-turn loved her unconditionally.
Born on 6th March 1927 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Albert James & Dorothy Daisy Chellew. Joan was the third child of James and Daisy. She was predeceased by her parents and two older sisters; Evelyn Frances McKay (Vancouver) and Helen Audrey Gray (Trail).
Joan excelled in high-school and was awarded the “silver cup” for academics. Upon graduation from City Park Collegiate in Saskatoon in 1945, Joan entered business school later working at Woolworth’s Store for the vast sum of $0.25 an hour. She discovered that a career in business was not for her and in 1947 followed her passion for caring for others into a career in nursing. She graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1950 and soon started work at Saskatoon General Hospital. Joan quickly progressed to Assistant Supervisor and over the next three years worked in progressively more responsible positions in the Emergency Departments of Saskatoon General Hospital, Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Hospital and the Calgary General Hospital before accepting an offer in 1953 to work in Trail at Cominco’s first aid department.
“The rest is history” as they say as shortly after her arrival in Trail she was introduced to Alastair Ian MacAskill on a blind date. They married in 1954 and over the next ten years produced six children; Colin James MacAskill (Vancouver), Douglas Malcolm MacAskill (Victoria), Heather Ann Morrison (Trail), Ross Allan MacAskill (Trail), Donna Jean Tjader (Trail) and Sandra Lynn Koch (Trail). Colin was born on Ian’s 28th birthday; 11th August, and was the “best birthday present ever” according to Ian. His siblings might not agree with their father’s sentiments, but we’ll save that for another day J.
Ian went to Heaven on 2nd June 1967 leaving Joan to raise the six kids on her own. To keep her growing family together and put food on the table, Joan worked full-time at the Trail Regional Hospital and at 40 years of age she started driving for the first time. Most who witnessed her driving would agree with her when she’d say “driving was not my thing”. She avoided causing any serious accidents but did manage to fray the nerves of her passengers and others on the road. She freely admitted “I don’t like driving” and no one complained when she decided to stop.
In 1969 Joan was introduced to Ted Smithson; a single father raising three young girls with the help of a family friend. Joan and Ted married that same year and bought a house on Oxford Road in Warfield. Joan learned to curl and bowl and thoroughly enjoyed playing in weekly leagues in both sports, and competing in several bonspiels and tournaments in the Trail area. Unfortunately, Ted passed away on 1st May 1973 following complications from open heart surgery and Joan was once again alone. The burden of raising nine children on her own proved too much and Ted’s three girls went to live with the family friend who had cared for them before Ted and Joan were married. They were in good hands…
After Ted passed away Joan went back to work full-time as a Registered Nurse at Cominco. While there, a nice gentleman named Isadore (Ike) Bosse made frequent visits to the medical office with various complaints and ailments. It soon became apparent that his main focus during these visits was an attractive, recently widowed nurse named Joan Smithson. At first she ignored his interest but as time went on they fell in love and the two married on 18th May 1974. Ike and his daughter Suzanne, whom he’d raised on his own since she was three, joined the rest of the family on Oxford Road where they all lived happily for many years.
In 1974 during “the strike” Joan went back to work at the Trail Regional Hospital, then the Medical Associates Clinic in downtown Trail. While working at the Clinic she met Marg Brown; the Regional Assessor for Long-Term Care. Marg was nearing retirement and observed Joan’s compassion for others and caring personality; the exact traits required for her successor. Marg suggested that Joan apply for the position and in 1980 Joan became the new Regional Assessor for Long-Term Care, a position she held until retirement in 1991.
During retirement, Joan and Ike embarked on several “adventures”, driving across Canada, through the western United States, to Haida Gwaii, Hawaii, cruising through the Panama Canal, to Alaska, etc. She loved every minute of it and often reflected on the fun they had and the people they met. Between trips, during the summer months, Joan and Ike spent most of their time at Christina Lake, enjoying the 36’ park model trailer they bought for their lot in the Christina Sands Resort. Sadly, Ike passed away on 10th May 2010 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Christina Lake was Joan’s “happy place” where she thoroughly enjoyed her daily swims, sitting in the shade next to the beach chatting with friends, followed by evening card games and lots of laughs. She also absolutely loved attending family gatherings which in her later years became quite an under-taking due the ever growing size of her brood. At the time of her passing she had 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Most of her immediate family was born and raised in Trail and many still live in the area.
After Ike passed away, Joan moved into Mountain Side Village in Fruitvale and was proud of the fact she was one of their first residents. She thoroughly enjoyed living at Mountain Side; she loved the staff, her many friends and acquaintances, and they loved her too. To say Joan was a “social person” would be an understatement. Maybe it was her training as lifelong caregiver, or the fact she had such a large family, but there was nothing she enjoyed more than having coffee with friends, family gatherings, and regular visits and calls from friends and family.
In her spare time Joan would watch her favourite TV shows and knit… and knit, and knit, and knit. Over the years she produced literally hundreds of dish cloths, sweaters, mittens, blankets, etc. which she lovingly distributed to family and friends. These heirlooms will be cherished for years to come. Maybe that was her intention…
“She loved well and was well loved.
Her memory will be cherished by all those who will love her for many years to come.”
Due to concerns over potential transmission of Covid-19 there will be no public service at this time. It is with heavy hearts that we must sincerely apologize to Mom’s many friends and distant relatives who we know would have dearly loved to attend a formal service
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence.
Remembering Joan from her work at Trail Regional Hospital where Joan was well respected for her work as LTC Assessor. As well, Joan was a pleasant smiling face at Mountainside Village in Fruitvale where my mother lived and sister- in-law lives. My deepest condolences to the family. Her obituary is a great tribute to a wonderful woman and a life well lived.
Condolences to the MacAskill and extended family. Keep your memories close to your heart. Always enjoyed visiting with Joan - she had lots of stories to share.
A beautiful and warm summary of Joan - how could you fit it all in one page! If ever I needed a pick me up - just call Joan. To all my cousins my condolences. PS - If you find that old TV from Willow drive let me know - there's still a few cartoons in there that I need to finish. (How many times did I hear her tell that storey over the years?)
Sincere sympathy to all of Joan’s family. What a beautiful and very fitting obituary. I first met the family when we were neighbours on Daniel Street. I babysat for your mom. Later on we worked in the same office. I remember what a great cook she was for all you kids. She will be missed.
Thinking of your family as you celebrate the life of your mom. May your happy memories give you peace and comfort.
Dearest Grandma, we’ll all miss you so much. Thanks for sharing your stories and sense of humour with us all! I’ll never forget our summers together at the lake- watching the Price is Right with you, eating your egg sandwiches with jello and cool whip for dessert. You let me sleep in the same bed as you so we could escape Papa Ike’s snoring… your funny rhyming plaques in your bathrooms and squishy toilet seats. Watching you chat under the trees with your friends on your fold out lawn chairs. All the little things. You were one of the most generous people I know, even though you never had much. You taught me to look on the bright side and the power of using humour as a tool to get through hard things. Because, you definitely had hard times, some of the hardest and I admire you for your strength to survive them with a smile on your face. Your example lives on in your family and the wonderful group they are. You will be so missed Grandma but I promise to remember you with a smile on my face xxxx
Sandra, Donna, Ross and family Fond memories came in to my thoughts as I heard of Joan’s passing. Many years of fun were had at the lake and Joan was always one of the nicest ladies there ❤️ Heart felt sympathy to you all Joy and Mike Bonin
To Joan's dear Family I well remember babysitting you kids when your Mom and mine and Auntie Helen and others attended the White Heather meetings which were associated with First Presbyterian Church. Your Mom and mine (Wilma Johnstone) went to the meetings and I entertained you kids. Please accept my deepest sympathy as you grieve her loss. She was a lovely lady and you will miss her.
We are so sorry for your loss. Joan was such a good mother and always happy. I have a lot of fond memories growing up with all of you guys and your mother made me feel so welcome. She will be sadly missed. Love Paul & Nora.
To Sandra and all the Family What a wonderful tribute to your mom! Sandra has shared some of her stories over the years and now you all have painted such a great picture of your mom, that I feel like I know her. I can just feel Joan's strength, tenacity and courage. She was a true survivor both literally and within her spirit; combining practicality and a wonderful sense of "joie de vivre". Her unconditional love and support of her family and her sense of humour comes through in every word. When you are enjoying Christina lake, let the sun, the wind and water embrace you and fill you up with the knowledge that she is with you always. Love, Colleen
Doug, Heather and the rest of the family, May you take comfort in loving memory and the friends and family that surround you. Your Mom was a delightful person to know. Chris and Allan Piva and Norma Milne
To All the Family, Your Mom was a shining light while here and a shining star looking over you all. Such a beautiful story you've written of your Mom's incredible life story. Our sincere condolences to you all. Tony, Bernadette and Brett
My sincerest condolences to Joan’s family. Such a beautiful obituary that describes Joan so well. I first met Joan when I would occasionally babysit for her when she lived up in West Trail. Later our paths crossed when she was hired as the LTC Assessor. I will always think of her with that beautiful smile and the twinkle in her eyes. May all your shared memories bring you some comfort and support at this difficult time.
Heart felt condolences for all the family during this sad time. My dad and Joan enjoyed many adventures together over the years. ❤❤
I am so sorry to all of Joan's family. She's in a good place watching over you all. Thought to you all. Maureen Drake
I always loved auntie Joan's stories - sometimes you could not get a word in as she had so much to relate. Family was everything to her and she never tired of talking about her kids and grand children. She always seemed to have so much energy and spirit, and she loved to knit - we all have her slippers and facecloths - we will miss her (and her knitting too!).
What a lovely, heartwarming obituary. I met Joan a couple of times and felt an immediate warmth and comfort about her. I am good a good friend of Sandra Koch and I see the positive and caring traits that you describe in you mom. I send you all my heartfelt condolences.
Sending condolences to the entire family especially those who were so close to “Grandma Joan” ! What a long lived and fulfilling life she lived! Keep your memories and treasures of Joan’s close. With love - Krista, Adolfo and Family ❤️
Suzanne and Families, sorry to hear of mother's passing. Condolences to all.
To all of Joan's family we send our deepest sympathy. Your Mom was a fun loving woman and a pleasure to chat and laugh with. Keep your memories close to help you through this difficult time.
When Gramma started a sentence it was "did you know". I miss her dearly cause she loved me and our family so much!