After a brief illness preceded by a long brave journey through dementia, Joyce Shimoji passed away on February 28th, 2021 at age 90.
She passed away at home comfortably and calmly, while under the care of her long time personal care attendant, Liezl Pacete, and the staff of the Simkin Centre.
She is survived by her sons Bert (Paula) Finkelstein, Mark Finkelstein, and their half sister Janine Baer; stepchildren Joel (Dena) Shimoji, Leanne (Dean) Chale and Tammy Shimoji; grandchildren Samson (Charlotte Greenblatt) Finkelstein, Jonah (Laura Emiola) Finkelstein; Jenna (Levi) Johnston, Amanda, Sarah and Kiera Shimoji; Kirsten and Hannah Chale; great-grandchildren Freya and Tomas Finkelstein, Londyn Johnston, Hailee and Jonah Emiola; and sister Clarice Rubin, as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Predeceased by siblings Harry (Sandy) Riesenberg, Mickey (Jean) Riesenberg, Beckey Selwyn and Sylvia (Jack) Knazan, and son-in-law Boyd Newton.
Joyce was born on June 23, 1930 in Winnipeg Manitoba. She grew up in the north end of Winnipeg and attended St. John’s Tech. She moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where she met her first husband, Jack Finkelstein. They were married in 1952 and moved to Regina, Saskatchewan. After having their two sons, Mark and Bert, they moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Joyce raised her family, volunteered in various charitable organizations and developed a lifelong love of antiques, particularly antique art class. She also enjoyed her time golfing, gardening and, for a time, showing the family dog Rocky in various local dog shows. Above all she enjoyed the times with her sisters, Clarice, Sylvia, and Becky, and their families.
Later in life Joyce married Tom Shimoji. Many years of travel, special times at Falcon lake and the gift of watching her grandchildren grow up, followed. After Tom’s passing in 2006 the entire Shimoji family adopted Joyce and so generously gave her their love, time, and attention until the very end. It seemed there always was someone around to maintain Mom’s spirits and positivity. It was of immense comfort knowing this support was being given and could not be more appreciated.
Joyce was a personality who made an impression.
She enjoyed celebration and actively pursued happiness - a lesson to be heeded.
She loved her grandchildren and was never happier than when, as she aged, she had the pleasure of holding her great-grand children, knowing perhaps how precious and rare these opportunities were becoming. She fought, sometimes angrily, the effects of her dementia, but graciously accepted her dependence as her condition worsened and so appreciated the care she received. We are forever thankful for the kind care of her personal care attendant, Liezl Pacete, and her longtime friend and attendant, Antonia Kotulas. Words cannot express our gratitude.
We would also like to thank the doctors and nurses on 4 South at the Grace Hospital for the attentive, compassionate care they offered. We particularly want to thank the medical and nursing staff at the Simkin Centre for their long term and ultimately palliative care of mother.
As per Joyce’s wishes, cremation will take place.
At a future date when family and friends can safely gather a celebration of life will be held.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to The Japanese Cultural Center of Winnipeg, 180 McPhillips St., Winnipeg Manitoba R3E 2J9