Hilda “Joan” Stafford

STAFFORD, Hilda “Joan”….

Peacefully, after a brief illness, as in her favourite hymn Jesus called Joan to “Come to the Lakeshore” on Monday, April 6, 2020, to be rejoined with the love of her life, Grant Stafford of 59 years marriage. Joan was most proud of her sons and the life she lived with her husband Grant. She was a strong independent woman who; loved to laugh, play bingo with her sister Shirley & sisters-in-law Susan & Janet, enjoyed politics, her church & choir, and most of all her time spent with family.

Joan & Grant raised 3 loving sons whom they were very proud of; Terry (Grace), Ken (Dawna) and Victor (Kathy) who also went on to raise Joan & Grant’s grandchildren, Christine (C.J.), Melissa (Cheysson), Christopher (d.), Kenny Jon (Karissa), Greg (Desiree), Tyler (Brooke) & Leah…. And great grandchildren; Aidan, Mikaela, Mia & Miley, Ally, Kailee and Skylar.

Joan was born in River John, Nova Scotia to Gardner & Marion “Mary” Brown nee Langille. She was one of 7 children and is survived by her youngest brother Blaine (Susan) Brown & family, sisters-in-law Eleanor (brother Ken (d.)) Brown & family, Janet (brother Arnold (d.)) Brown & family, nephews and family of Shirley & Ray Boutilier. Predeceased by her sister & closest friend Shirley Boutilier and sisters Mildred & Evelyn.

Joan held a special place in her heart for the following: Bill & Sharon Wilson & family, Richard Brown, Jeff Brown, Glen & Barb Boutilier and special friends Laurie Irving (d.) & Lisa Shaver. Joan also loved and was loved by her furry friends, Rambo, Marley & Sofie.

In 1964 after retiring from the Navy, Grant and Joan moved to Barrie, Ontario where they lived, worked and raised their family. They returned to Nova Scotia in 1988 and called River John home. They lived there together until Grant’s passing in 2016. Joan continued to live in their home until November 2018 when she moved to London, Ontario. Joan’s family was blessed to have been able to spend extra time with her during her return to Ontario where she was able to enjoy her 80th birthday celebration in Barrie, surrounded by her immediate family and friends and meeting her great grandchildren for the first time. Later Joan was unable to travel long distances. However, she was able to enjoy many visits from family & friends from all over Ontario. She was the happiest having Saturday & Sunday family dinners, phone calls from Barrie and Nova Scotia, scenic drives, music… lots of music and a renewed sense of belonging through family & community. While Joan will be greatly missed, her spirit will live on through all of our fond and loving memories of her.

A special thank you to Dr. Robert Bush, Tatamagouche, NS, the staff at Grand Wood Park Retirement Residence, Dr. Bhooma Bhayana and LHSC medical staff for their tender and compassionate care.

Joan’s life will be celebrated in Barrie, ON and River John, NS – dates yet to be determined. For donations in Joan’s memory please consider Salem United Church, in River John, NS, My Sisters’ Place, 566 Dundas Street, London, ON N6B 1W8 or your charity of choice.

Joan’s final resting place will be beside her husband Grant in Hamilton Cemetery, River John, NS.

Cremation has taken place. Arrangements entrusted with Cremation London & Middlesex,
519-858-2467. Online condolences shared at www.cremationlondon.com


  1. Our deepest sympathy to the family from Salem UCW, River John and from myself, Elsie Langille. We miss Joan.

  2. Thank you Elsie. Joan (& Grant) appreciated and enjoyed the Salem Church family…the friendship from the choir, congregation and clergy.
    We are just so glad our family had the extra time with Joan. Visits once or twice a year are not enough and not everyone could visit Nova Scotia.

    Stay healthy & safe.
    Regards on behalf of Joan’s Sons & the Stafford Families – Terry, Ken & Victor

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