Joan Muriel Henderson (nee Mills) passed away peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday, July 6th in the emergency department of Queens General Hospital in Liverpool, NS in her 73rd year. She left on her own terms with Howard, Tammi and Krista by her side, surrounding her with all their love.
Joan was born on February 27, 1948 in Liverpool and was the sixth child of the late Muriel Evans (nee Allen) and the only child of the late Joseph Mills of Milton, NS. Born under the sign of the fish (Pisces) she had a life-long love of the water. Growing up on the banks of the Mersey, she spent her childhood swimming in the river and always found herself happiest when spending time at the family cottage in Labelle on Ponhook Lake or taking drives along the coast with those she loved.
After completion of the secretarial course at Liverpool Regional High School she worked as a Payroll Clerk at Liverpool’s Town Hall. It was there that she met Howard. An employee with Maritime Tel & Tel (later Aliant) he had been called to fix a telephone line which required him to crawl under her desk. In the process, he accidentally burned her with his soldering iron and that was the beginning of their nearly fifty years together. Joan always joked that he had “branded her for life”.
After marrying in Milton on November 27, 1971, they moved to Great Hill where they still lived. In 1973, they welcomed their first daughter, Tammi, and then in 1976, completed their family with the arrival of their second daughter, Krista. Joan believed her second career, that of motherhood, was the best one of all. Perhaps her proudest promotion was to that of Nanny when the family grew to include five grandchildren. She was so grateful for each of their presences in her life and her love for them was undeniable.
Her family and friends meant the world to her. She loved spending time with her three sisters who lived locally and all of their extended families. Many, many hours were spent playing bingo or cards and they all enjoyed laughing together until their faces hurt. She enjoyed travelling to visit many of them in Alberta and British Columbia over the years and had the opportunity to visit Canada from one coast to the other when she and her daughters visited Newfoundland together a few years ago.
She was a Red Hatter, a Ham Radio Operator with callsign VE1QCL (Queens County Lady) and was the founder of the local online forum, Queens Connections. All of these groups gave her the gift of lifelong friendships, many adventures and more importantly many laughs. She loved shopping and over the years enjoyed many trips to Bangor and more recently was still able to enjoy this pastime with the arrival of Amazon. She dabbled in genealogy, liked quiet time spent putting puzzles together, loved to read, was a fantastic knitter and crocheter and had a well-known eye for scenic photography.
She made the best potato salad. She had the best penmanship. She somehow managed to always find the perfect gift for someone. She had the loudest laugh of anyone in a room. She never passed up a bowl of lobster chowder or a slice of Howard’s homemade brown bread. Her favourite sandwich was a toasted tomato one with mayo and salt and pepper. Lupins were her favourite flower and she’d exclaim “Look at all the lupins!” whenever she saw them to the point the girls now exclaim it in her voice when they see them, too. She would skunk you at crib and still somehow make you feel like you won. She was always frustrated by the fact she could never “do anything with this damn hair” – if it was straight, it wasn’t curly enough and if it was permed, it was too curly.
She had the uncanny ability of clapping on the off-beats and sang just enough off-tune that you never mentioned it her. She loved to sing along to songs but often forgot most of the words until the very last one of every line and then would belt that one word out for all she was worth. If she got a song stuck in her head, she’d sing it for days on end until it was now stuck in your head, too. If you were in a car with her, she’d narrate every single sign you encountered. She had a quick temper and swore like a sailor, and we loved her despite and because of both.
Most importantly, she loved her people fiercely and with her whole heart. She took on the title of honourary second mom to many of the girls’ best friends over the years, with great pride. She believed in loving everyone unconditionally and that everyone deserved more than one second chance. She cried at the drop of a hat because she wore her heart on her sleeve, always.
If asked to describe her in one word, that word would be generous. She was generous with her love, her time and her support. She was always there with an encouraging word, to offer a solution to a problem, or to just lend an ear when you just needed someone to listen. She gave you her whole self when you were in her company. There was only one version of her – what you saw was what you got – and we all loved her for that authenticity.
Joan was able to stay at home throughout her medical challenges because of Howard’s love and devotion. His vow of “in sickness and in health” was the most important vow they shared and he held up his end of that deal until the very end. He put her needs first and when she needed his support, he made sure she had it – helping her through everything in every possible way he could. When she could no longer drive he made sure she got to spend time by the ocean, going for drives after dialysis and enjoying all the beauty of the seaside which she loved photographing. He’s lost his partner in crime, his “Miss Daisy” to chauffeur and while he was always the quiet one of the two, we know his world is much quieter without her in it.
Joan is survived by her husband of nearly 50 years – Howard Henderson of Great Hill; her eldest daughter, Tammi (Adam Hayne) and their boys Luke and Kyle of Eastern Passage; her youngest daughter, Krista (Brad Cleator) of Liverpool and her children, Rogan Naugler (Sarah Mossman) of Kingsburg, NS, Rylan Naugler (Josh Bourque) of Kentville, NS and Riston Thorbourne of Liverpool as well as her sister, Rita Dagley of Liverpool, NS. She was predeceased by both of her parents as well as her siblings, Marion Schwartz, George Evans, Dorothy Uhlman and Ann Glawson.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Emergency Department of Queens General Hospital for their compassionate care that allowed her to pass peacefully and in comfort and to the staff at Chandler’s Funeral Service for their support and guidance during the grieving process. While Joan navigated the challenges of high blood pressure, Diabetes and kidney failure for many years, we are eternally grateful for the seven additional years dialysis gave us with her and wish to extend our love and thanks to the staff of Queens General Hospital’s Dialysis Unit and the many doctors and specialists who provided care to her over the years.
She is now free from the burdens of her illnesses. She has regained her freedom. She’s earned her wings. She now flies with the other dragonflies.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Chandlers’ Funeral Home, Liverpool, NS. A celebration of Joan’s life will take place on Monday, July 12th from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Tupper Park in Milton. All are welcome. We ask that if possible, you bring a lawn chair, a face mask and an item for a potluck supper. Joan loved enjoying potlucks in Tupper Park so we think this would be a fitting way to send her off and share memories of her time with us. Please visit www.lifebythesea.ca for more details.
If you would like to remember Joan through a donation to a charity, she would have loved for you to support Diabetes Canada or the Kidney Foundation.
“I’ve got a good mother
And her voice is what keeps me here
Feet on ground, heart in hand
Facing forward, be yourself”
Offer Condolence for the family of Henderson; Joan MurielPrint Obituary & Condolences
Dear Howard, Tammi, Krista and family. We are sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. She was quite a woman, but you already knew that. She definitely had an infectious laugh. She will surely be missed by all who knew her. Our sincere condolences to you all.
Margo Hanley and Arthur Canning
Darlene (Roy) Connolly
It is with great sadness that I am reading of Joan’s passing. My most sincere condolences to all of Joan’s family. I worked with Joan at the Town of Liverpool office. She was a character. I remember when she had her first date with Howard. She was over the moon and would blush whenever we mentioned his name. Haven’t had much contact with her over the years, but when I did, we would have a good chat. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Howard, Tammi and Krista,
I’m so sorry, Joan was a wonderful woman, always a smile and a laugh. Hold those memories close. Sending love and hugs.
Valerie & Doug
& Family too
Howard,Tammy Krista and families I was so shocked and saddened when i learned of Joan’s passing. We made many trips to Hfx for our clinic appts. We will surely miss her funny laugh.Think of the wonderful times you had and God bless you all.
To Joan’s family,
My heartfelt condolences to you on the passing of a great lady. I knew Joan for many years and her infectious laugh I will remember, still can hear it as I write this, forever. Keep her memories in your heart and she’ll live within you. Many Blessings to you all and my God guide you through this difficult time.
Krista and the family of Joan. I took commercial with her and would see her nice in awhile, mostly at bingo. Sorry for your loss, I can still hear her laugh after all of these years. RIP Joan.
So sad she was one of the nicest people I ever talk to we always talk when she came to the fire hall to play bingo RIP my friend
Charlotte and Bobby Kelley
Howard, Tammi and Krista and families..please accept our sincere condolences on your loss. May the wonderful memories of her help you get through the difficult days ahead.
Sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. She was a wonderful person. Condolences to the family.
So sorry to hear of Joans passing. My sympathy to Howard, the girls and grandchildren.
I belonged to Queens Connectors and enjoyed all the outings whether in the park or Chinese food at Golden Pond.
Rest in peace Joan. God has taken another Angel home.
Dear Howie and Family. It is with great sadness I read in the passing of Joan. She was such a spirited fellow amateur radio operator. I always enjoyed talking to her on the radio and in person. Her and Howie’s love for each other is an inspiration for so many. Warmest regards from Glen (VE1AAU) and Anne-Marie (VE1AMR) Veinot
Richard and Peggy Hatt
I am in tears as I write this .What a beautiful tribute to your dear mother ..She was a wonderful and talented woman and was loved by all who had the privilege of knowing her .Please accept Richard’s and my deepest heartfelt sympathies .I will never forget her .Sincerely Peggy
Richard and Peggy Hatt
Dear Howard .Please know that we are all thinking of you and share in your grief . May the love of your many friends and loving family carry you through the days ahead Sincerely Peggy
Helen and Angel Whynacht.
Fly to heaven,Joanie Girl .Condolences to Howard and all her family. Joan was a great person….
Donnie and Valerie
Howard and Family,Our deepest regrets at Joan’s passing.
On behalf of the Nova Scotia Amateur Radio Association and all Amateurs our deepest condolences. Joan is a great gal.Shirley and I have fond memories of the times with Joan & Howard.
73 de ve1ta
I knew Joan ,although not well. Just would like to say that I feel I know her now. This is the most beautiful obituary that I have ever read. I don’t know who wrote it , but they have a wonderful gift. I am so sorry for your loss. You surely have lost a lovely part of your family.please accept my sincere condolences
Marilyn and Stephen Anthony
Sorry for your loss
Howard, Tammi, Krista and family. My sincere condolences to you in your loss, and I’m sure you have many wonderful memories that will be yours forever. Walter
To Joan’s family,
Our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to you. We are so sorry to hear of her passing.
She had such a good heart and she always had a positive attitude. She will be missed by many.
Jami and Paul Fay
Howard, Tammi, Krista and family, I too, was shocked at Joan’s passing. We talked up at Out Patients, the end of June. As I read this obituary, I thought, what a lovely tribute, to a lovely lady. We said how much we missed the group, the end of June. We had such fun at these group functions, lots of laughs and your right, her laugh stood out and you could never be sad around her. I first met her, when I joined the group, but have known Rita, since I was small. You will be missed Joan, rest in peace, pain free. Gran
I very truly enjoyed your mom. As we spent many mornings so many years ago with all of the gang. Her laughter can still be heard all of the many years past. Joan was not judgmental towards anyone. It was my pleasure to know a very caring individual. Joan was also inspirational to allow me to perform my Elmo for the children who would accompany their parents during our coffee morning times. Joan thank you for being the kind individual who never judged me. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family along with those of my wife Angela and sons Marshall and Tyler. May you rest in piece with all of the love from family and friends. It was my great pleasure to know a very caring person.
Derek & Sarah Coolen
We would like to send our heart felt condolences to Howard and family. Sorry for your loss.
73 de VE1WRG
Kenny and Janice Alexander
Sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. We’re sending condolences to her family from Alberta.
Beverly G Bowers
My deepest sympathy to Joan’s family, I am so happy our paths crossed through red hatting. Joan’s obituary is so well written, that even if you hadn’t had the pleasure of knowing Joan in person, it shared her personality so accurately. Rest in peace Joan, you will be remembered and missed by us all!
Valerie Chalifoux (McKee-Whynot)
What a beautiful memorial for beautiful person. Joan’s family, I send my deepest condolences. I was so sad to hear of her passing. I knew Joan from many years ago when I was dating Brian and we probably babysat you kids. We reconnected after I moved to Alberta and she started Queens connection so that all of us out west here had a way to keep in touch with everybody back home. I got to see her when she came out to visit Judy in Bonnyville and we had a wonderful day together. I missed her when Queens connection stopped and I will think of her always with a smile. I loved how she used to talk about Howard’s brown bread and all the things connected to you girls and the grandkids and watching them grow up through Facebook was just a joy. ” God has another Angel sitting beside him”.
Krista and family,
I am so very sorry for your loss. The obituary is a beautiful tribute to Joan. Thinking of you all during this difficult time.
Sorry to read of Joan’s passing. She was a very nice person.
Ann (Keating) Kent
I went to school with Joan and many times in the same classes. We were proud Miltonians and often sang a song, We are the MiltonGirls. Sincere condolences.
Dear Howard, Krista and Tammi .. our deepest condolences .. surprised to read this on her page this am. Beautiful tribute for a lady with a Positive Ground ! 73 Bruce ve1alt and Judy.
Marg and Bernie Swain
To Howard, Tammi, Krista and family,
We are so saddened by the loss of dear Joan. She was a true and loyal friend. We have shared many wonderful times, many laughs and adventures with the red hatters and our lunches and outings have made many great memories.
You have done Joan proud with such a detailed obituary, and have spelt her life out for all to share.
We will truly miss her, it is comforting to know she is at peace.
Our sincere condolences to you all.
Viv Croft (Whynot)
Sending my condolences to the family. Take care of yourself Howie.
Tammi, Krista and Howard,
I am so very sorry to read of Joan’s passing. When you girls were in Brooklyn School, Sandy, Linda, Joan and myself would get together twice a month to play Trivial Pursuit…Good times with lots of laughs. Hold on to all your precious memories as they will help you through this sad time.
What a great description of her life, and a life well lived. She enjoyed every minute. We at dialysis loved her so much. She was game for anything, especially when we would hall out our tickle box full of costumes and dress her up. It could be a spur of a moment thing or on the holidays. We have many a picture and video of our good times with her. Great great memories. Sometimes we would put on a show and all you could hear on the video was Joanie laughing. We would always be happy when the holidays fell on the days she was dialyzing, we knew it was going to be a good day. My heart aches for you all and she will truly be missed by her dialysis family. Hugs
Steven and Brenda Kennedy
Dear Krista and family,
Our sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of such a wonderful woman.
Your mom will be remembered forever by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
May God Bless you and be with you all at this time .
Steven and Brenda Kennedy
My heartfelt Sympathy goes out to all Joanie ,family she was a wonderful kind friend i ever known lots of memories spending time visiting her at Rita and Dot and later we play bingo at Rita its hard to losing a friend and all the happy gang Joanie is now in Heaven with all the happy gang and all her Angels Friends Rest Easy my friend until we meet Again
Uncle Howard , Tammy , Krista and the rest of the family… I am sending you my deepest condolences to you! I was in total shock to hear of Aunt Joan’s passing! I will cherish all of the great memories with her and also her infectious laugh! She will be greatly missed by so many! RIP AUNT JOAN, love you ❤️
Howard and Family,
So sorry to learn of Joan’s passing. A beautiful obituary for the “Queen’s County Lady”. Wish I had visited more often when travelling the 103. Still remember the evening years ago sitting in your home on Great Hill and enjoying a ragchew QSO and dish of ice cream.
May your sadness of today be dampened by the memories of life shared together and the knowledge you will all be joined together again one day in the presence of the Lord.
73, Leigh – VE1GA
It still tears me up to know we are missing our dear Joanie. Her love for her family and friends was so outstanding. Her family was her pride and joy, you could tell by all the stories of them she’d tell to us at dialysis, she was so proud. It’s unimaginable that we’ll no longer have her with us. Take comfort in your memories as we will. She was a strong, brave woman. You always knew where you stood with her. We will be missed dearly.
Susan Mac Leod
Uncle Howard,Tammi and Krista and your family. Aunt Joan was a true friend as well as my Aunt. We are close in age and when we were very young I would spend many summers with Joan at Nanny’s in Milton. We had a lot of fun dodging the currents while swimming in the river. Joan really did love the water. She was a dear sister to my mom and always had a caring nature. She was so sensitive and could cry at the drop of a hat. Tammi your tribute to Aunt Joan is amazing thank you so much for sharing Aunt Joan’ s character with us.
Nina & Doug Inness
Sending sincere condolences to Howard and family. Always enjoyed get togethers & outings with Joan. A wonderful obituary that really captured what Joan was all about. She will be missed.
What a beautiful tribute to your wife & Mom, describes Joan to a T.She is flying high with the Angels pain free.Take comfort in that. Draw on the memories,tuck them in your heart to keep safe. She will be missed.
Dear family I was so shocked to hear of Joan passing. I always sat next to her during dialysis.I will miss her dearly. So sorry for your loss.
Ken & Ella McCormick
Howard and family we were saddened to hear of Joan’s passing. Our deepest condolences – Ken (VY2RU) and Ella (VE1PEI) McCormick
To Howaed. Tammi. Krista & Families
My thoughts & prayers are with you all @ this most difficult time…RIP Joan.
HOWARD VE1 FV. AND GIRLS. SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR LOSS. HANG IN THERE. VEI RHC. DICK.DICK COLE.
Bob and Gloria Turner
Our sincerest condolences to Howard and family. We were fond of “Queens County Lady” and she will be missed.
73 de VE1RST and VE1GGG
Marie Wambolt (Zwicker)
Sincere condolences on the passing of your loved one.
Robert & Sally Fader
Howard, Krista, Tammi and family:
So very sorry to hear that Joan has passed away. A very nice lady who endured a lot. Sending our sincere condolences at this very sad and difficult time.
Bob/ Marjorie MacGowan
To Howard and family we were sad to hear of Joan’s passing. Our sincere condolences.
To Joan’s family you all have lost a truly wonderful lady from your lives .Remember all the special time spent together as a family. She is now at peace RIP Joan .
irving and Jeanette Whynot
H0ward ,Tammi .Krista and family .We are very sorry to hear of Joans passing .Our condolences to everyone .
Carol & Terry Whynott
Sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. Our sympathy to Howard, the girls and grandchildren.
Sending sincere condolences to the family.
Janet Gammon (Whynot)
I have been in touch with Sharon Smiths daughter Rhonda in BC and she sends her sincere condolences to the family. Sharon in nursing home and being well cared for. Never met Howard and family but again sending sincere condolences. Sharon and Joan were great friends. Joan and I were in school together.
Pat and Doug Lohnes
To Howard,Tammi and Krista
Sending our sincere sympathies. The tribute to your mom was beautifully written. Thinking of you all at this very sad and difficult time.
Pat and Doug Lohnes
Mary Anne Tourangeau (Joudrey)
Howard and family, Joan will be missed so much , always in joyed seeing her and having pot luck or lunch when I came home to visit she will always be in our hearts sending hugs and prayers to all.
Sorry for your loss Krista and family.Sending prayers and condolences to u all at this difficult time. RIP ❤
A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Thinking of you all during this sad time. I spent a lot of time at her house in my younger days, a lot of good memories. She will be missed.
Howard, Tammi, Krista and all Joan’s Family.
I was so very sorry to learn of Joan’s passing. She was a True Friend and I enjoyed our Red Hatter Trips, and outings with the Queens Connections so very much. She was an Amazing and Very Special Lady.
The Tribute to Joan is the Best One I have ever Read.
Thinking of you all with Sadness and Prayers She will never be Forgotten.
Howard, Tammi, Krista, and family, we are all so saddened to hear the news of Joan’s passing. And there are not enough words to express how truly sorry we are for your loss. We are sending our love and thoughts to you during this tremendously difficult time.
We are so thankful for having known Joan for all these years. For my mom, Sharon, she was one of her dearest and closest friends who she loved very much. For me, I have known Joan since the day I was born and for my husband Jim and my daughter Jacquelynne who were lucky enough to meet and spend time with Joan when she came out to British Columbia in 2005 to visit my mom. We have many fond memories of our times together. She was a very kind, wonderful and amazing woman, and for everyone who knew Joan we were all so truly blessed for the gift we all received to have known her. Rest in peace, Joan, we will miss you so very much.
Our deepest condolences to you all,
Rhonda, Jim and Jacquelynne Coles and on behalf of my mom, Sharon Smith
To Howard, Krista, Tammi ,& families ,especially Rogan ,&Rylan & partners ..I am so sorry that you,ve all lost such an important person in your lives .Your Wife.Mother ,Grandmother,,Aunt & friend etc .I,ve known Joan since a youngster and always considered her a friend .She was a very caring & loving person & will leave a void in many lives . Remember her with happy thought,s & love forever. RIP Joan
Tam, Krista and Howard,
Oh my, I can’t believe I am writing this! Mamma Joan was one of a kind! She practically raised me in my teenage years, and the memories are endless! So much fun out at the cabin, trips to the beach, late nights laughing, driving around and of course BINGO! No matter what was going on , she always had room to include me, and I loved it. I will never forget her laugh, or her bickering lol. We were all blessed to have her in our lives…she wasn’t just a Mom, she was our friend, and I will really miss her. I am thinking about all of you and the kids, who I know will sure miss their Nan. Love to you all. I’m sure she is already up in heaven with her sisters playing Bingo. xo
so sorry to hear the sad news thinking of you krista and rogan and rest of family hugs to u all
To Joan’s family
So sorry for your loss, thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Sharon & Craig Comeau
Dear Howard, Tammi and Krista. I was shocked to hear of the passing of Joan. She was a lovely person. Richard and Howard met on course in Truro in 1971 I believe. Richard with NB TEL and Howard with NS TEL. After they introduced each other they soon found out they were both Amateur Radio operators. We all became friends. I remember Howard and Joan coming for a weekend with baby Tammi. Joan and I became friends very quickly on Ham Radio conventions Richard (Dick/ silent key— VE1XL) and I visited Joan and Howard at their home too. We always enjoyed ourselves. Joan was so talented and so full of fun. Always lots of laughter. I remember her telling me about that trip to BC. I think she enjoyed every minute of it. I will miss her yearly Christmas letters. She kept many of us up to date on her family of which she was very proud. Well Howard, maybe Richard is busy up above tonight trying to get Joan all set up with her radio gear. Love to all of you. Lorna Steeves.
Judy Nickerson Tarr and Christine Nickerson Sabin
To All of Joan’s family
Tammy, I’m sure you wrote that beautiful tribute. I am so glad that my sister, Christine Nickerson Sabin and myself got to meet Joan when we made a trip to Nova Scotia. We had a nice time at the Christmas in July with the Connectors. Please except our condolences. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.
Judy Nickerson Tarr
Bonita Springs, Florida
Christine Nickerson Sabin
Tammi and family,
I was so saddened to hear of the passing of your mother. Your very kind words show just how special she was, and how much she will be missed. Sending love to you and anyone else who is grieving her.
Paul & MaryLou Smith
Howard, Henderson and extended families
Our deepest sympathy and condolences to you all. May her memories bring many blessings and help ease the grief you are going through. May the blessings be.
Howard & Family
Sorry to read of Joan’s passing. I knew her as a toddler in Milton and visited her home often. She spread her wings and
touched many lives. She will be missed in your home and will always be thought of in a good way. Condolences again
1st Cousin Bob & Merna Mills