After a long courageous battle with Alzheimer’s, it is with great sadness we announce the passing of Joan Ilene (Wikjord) Hooper, which occurred peacefully at the Loch Lomond Village on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. Joan, the daughter of the late Tolef and Bertha (Slade) Wilkjord, was born on May 29th, 1938, alongside her identical twin sister Joyce in The Pas, Manitoba. She grew up nearby in Cranberry Portage with a large family network of brothers, aunts and uncles. Following high school and playing live music at local dances on her accordion with sister Joyce, Joan began working at the Mid Canada Line Radar Site in Cranberry Portage. It was here she fell in love with Bob, married in the summer of 59, and then moved to Woodstock, NB. Soon after moving to Saint John with Bob’s new NBTel job, Joan had 3 boys and went back and forth between full-time mother/homemaker and part-time employee with various firms including NCR, Office Overload, and eventually went back to work full-time for 9 years with the City of Saint John as a secretary. She often reminisced about repeatedly being mistaken for the late/great Mayor Elsie Wayne in the elevator by strangers.
Through her younger years, Joan enjoyed mastering her accordion skills, partridge hunting with Bob, curling, bowling, swimming at the Aquatic Center, camping, knitting and cross stitch. After retirement, one of her passions was her flower gardens, constantly digging and rearranging various shrubs and flowers for a perfect presentation of colors and heights. Her other great passion and gift to community was volunteering to help under-privilege children every morning, getting up 6:00 a.m. five days a week for 13 years to serve breakfast to a host of needy children at Glenview United Church. Her close friends, Jean Manzer, Lorraine Pitt and Rose Trifts all ensured none of them would miss a day. Joan also volunteered countless hours and sewing skills to the Telephone Pioneers of America and Pioneer Partners, making thousands of heart pillows destined for local hospitals and heart surgery recovery patients.
After her retirement from the City in 1994, her and Bob embarked on a variety of world travel adventures. The explored the cultural beauty of places like Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Alaska, Russia and Hawaii to name a few. She even swam with the dolphins on one adventure and got to fire up a Formula 1 racecar on another. She saw more of the world than most can claim, and she loved talking about their trips upon return.
Joan is pre-deceased by her husband of 63 years Bob, (May 2022) who spent countless hours attending to her well-being on a daily basis while she was admitted to the Alzheimer’s Wing at the Loch Lomond Village over the last 5 years. Along with her parents, Joan was also predeceased by her younger brother Wilmar. She is survived by her twin sister Joyce (Hupe) of Thunder Bay, Ontario; brother Alfred who lives in Pinewa, Manitoba and sons Kevin, Gregory and Richard.
The family would like to extend extra special thanks and heartfelt gratitude to the staff at the Loch Lomond Village, specifically Cedar House and Maple House for their unwavering kindness, care and support to Joan over the last 5+ years of her stay with them during her illness.
While all matters are under the care of Fundy Funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Road (646-2424), there will be no visitation or funeral service. Instead, the family will hold a Celebration of Life at a later date to be announced. Gifts in Kind are welcome to support the Alzheimer’s Society or to the Loch Lomond Villa foundation.
Alzheimer Society Inc. Saint John
221 Ellerdale St., Saint John NB E2J 2M1
Contact: Mark Harris
Loch Lomond Villa Foundation, Inc.
185 Loch Lomond Road, Saint John, NB E2J 3S3, AB