Obituary of Joyce Marilyn Major
In the early morning of Monday, January 6, 2020, Joyce Marilyn Major peacefully passed away at the Greater Niagara General Hospital.
Joyce Marilyn was born July 23, 1932 into the loving home of Lewis and Clara Pew of Port Colborne, Ontario. A practicing Lutheran family, mother and her brother Donnie (predeceased by sister Phyllis, who passed at 6 mos.) were raised to work hard and act with integrity and honesty. These attributes served mother well through her teen years during WWII, when it was incumbent on all citizens to conserve for the greater benefit of the country.
Her mother and father were ardent gardeners, and the family never went without the essentials. Mother often told stories of growing and then preserving the abundance of fruits and vegetables they cultivated and traded for other goods with friends. She remarked that one year, her father even grew peanuts! It was a simple life; swimming in the canal behind her home on lazy summer days, skating on ponds in the winter or enjoying a firework display her father would put on for the kids for Victoria Day. They did not have much, but she never felt she went without.
Her deep devotion to family came from observation of her parents and the teachings of the church, which she attended regularly until much later in life. She married Francis Elmer Major (Fraser – adopted), an army veteran, former OPP officer and EMT paramedic, and settled in Welland, ON. They had two sons – Shawn and Roderick.
The divorce that followed challenged her sensibilities and the ensuing financial strain of this uncommon experience created tremendous stress and uncertainty for her. She did not dwell on this, for she knew that in order to provide for her children she would have to find work. She took a position as kitchen staff at Maplehurst Hospital in Thorold, becoming a single working mother – something of a rarity for the time.
She worked long, physical hours in a hot kitchen to pay the bills; she even went back to college in her 50’s to obtain the certification needed to retain her job. She never complained – she just got on with it. While financial success eluded her, she never complained about money in terms of what she could buy for herself, rather, she worried about not providing enough for her boys. Most important, she wanted them to learn those early lessons that she herself had learned from her father – to “Do What you Say and Say What you Mean”.
In this pursuit, she was successful - as evidenced by the beautiful, strong women both Shawn and Rod have married. Shawn’s wife Sharon has been by mother’s side daily since she became ill; advocating for her interests and ensuring she receive best possible care. Maria, Rod’s wife, has been a wealth of information that has helped the family understand each step of the care process while lovingly caring for mother and being a good friend.
Perhaps the greatest joy Joyce had over the past few years had been watching her two grandsons, Everett Louis and Jack Angelo Major grow into strong, compassionate and intelligent young men.
Joyce Marilyn Major had a terrific sense of humour but did not suffer fools (when asked about Mr. Trump recently, she commented “That a**hole wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him on the rear end”! She was strong, but also compassionate. She was opinionated, but a terrific listener. Perhaps the greatest attribute she gave, aside from her love, was her indelible strength.
We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the Trillium Palliative Nurses Danielle, Mark, Angelina, Erin, Ebin, Anna, and Krystina. Services will be held at First Lutheran Church, 688 Elm St, Port Colborne, ON 1 p.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020, followed by coffee social on premise. A private family interment will follow.
Date & Time:
January 18, 2020
1:00 pm until 2:00 pm
First Lutheran Church, 688 Elm St, Port Colborne
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