McInnis & Holloway
Funeral Homes

McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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McInnis & Holloway could receive.
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COPE, Joan Maxwell

July 16, 1929 – December 24, 2017

Joan, beloved wife of the late Kenneth Cope and much loved mother of Carol, Nancy and Kate, precious granddaughter Paula, and cherished sons-in-law John and Byron, passed away on Sunday, December 24, 2017 while visiting Victoria BC, at the age of 88 years.

Elegant, funny, poetic and practical, infuriating, endearing, feisty and courageous — all shaped the essence of Joan. Born in 1929 in Edmonton, Joan grew up in Calgary. After graduating from Western Canada High School and Garbutt’s Business College, she worked as a legal secretary in Denver, CO and fondly remembered working as private secretary to the GM of Canadian Western Natural Gas, for Dr. Ruth Gorman, founder of Golden West magazine, with an architectural firm and CFAC.

Joan met Ken while choir members at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church and married in 1958. Their wonderful, loving partnership created a very happy and close-knit family.

The countless memories her many friends are kindly sharing with us help us realize the impact she had on us, the people she knew, and the community around her. Joan believed in getting involved and loved being at the center of the action, whether in amateur theater, as an active volunteer with thrift and tuck shops and the Rehabilitation Society of Calgary. She enjoyed knitting hats and blankies for hospitalized babies, serving on Boards and committees at Statesman Manor, and myriad other projects.

She believed in politics as a way of helping people and improving communities. She always had strong opinions which she shared freely, and tried to live her philosophy that when you see a problem, you work to help fix it. Her letters to the Editor graced many issues of the Calgary Herald. In the 1970s, she was a founding member of the West Bow Trail Coordinating Council, later organizing the donation of their minutes and correspondence to the Glenbow Archives. As Chair of the Handicapped and Elderly Transportation Committee, she fought long and hard to make the LRT accessible to all. Family lore has it that one of her proudest moments was being called a “radical activist” in print for her work with city planning and in the community.

She absolutely loved: the Calgary Flames, Werther’s Caramels, Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, Jerusalem Shawarma, cream and sugar sets, Inspector Morse, Rod Stewart and the Royal Family. Her favorite movie was The Blues Brothers, she couldn’t pass a keyboard without sitting down and playing by ear any tune she fancied, and her signature tune (which she chose to be played at her funeral) was the Darktown Strutter’s Ball. She never missed a school concert or recital. Joan was proud of the Calgary Herald article about the 60th anniversary of the New Year’s Eve parties she and the gang from St. Stephen’s celebrated. She loved to travel, especially being wheeled through security in airports, always threatening to wave like the Queen. Quick with a joke or a funny, self-deprecating story, she could liven up any gathering.

When Ken moved into long-term care, Joan moved across the street and, in addition to spending happy hours together, was a tireless advocate for his care. Her focus was always on family, leaving us with so many happy memories and so proud of all she achieved.

Like the lyrics in her signature song, Joan would always be there when the band started playing and, like the trouper she was, she went out on a high note and left us wanting more.

Love you forever, Mom.

A private family funeral has been held and a Celebration of Joan’s life will take place later this spring. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Joan Cope, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Bob Hawkesworth :

    Calgary has lost a wonderful champion who brought spirit and caring into our larger community. I’m sad to learn of Joan’s passing. She could always be counted on to raise the bar of respectful but pointed civic engagement. She embodied the value of looking out for one another. Calgary is a better place because Joan had the courage of her convictions. I extend my condolences to her family and many friends. We will miss her.

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  2. Maureen Hanna :

    Carol, Nancy and Kate. My thoughts of deepest sympathy are with you at this time of need.

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  3. Anne & Dane Sinclair :

    Dear Carol, Nancy, And Kate,
    We were sorry to hear of you Mom’s passing. The obituary is a wonderful tribute to her memory. A life well lived!

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  4. Victor Bohonos :

    Dear Carol, Nancy and Kate,
    Unfortunately we have not met but I cannot adequately express my sorrow at your Mom’s passing. I will truly miss her. In mid 2016, I moved into the Signature Park Manor Village and she was one of the first people I met. She was truly a remarkable person but I had no appreciation of her accomplishments, although we had some common interests in her stay at Canadian Western Natural Gas. We became very good friends quite quickly. I admired her devotion to helping other Residents of the Village adjust to the changes in their life as she did with me. She will be sorely missed by every one living here.

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