McInnis & Holloway
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ROSS, Joan Maria (nee Venini)

1924 – 2017

Joan died peacefully at home on March 30, 2017. She was born in Calgary to Stephen and Mary Venini. She attended Sacred Heart and St Mary’s schools, before attending the University of Manitoba where she earned a BSc. in Home Economics. Joan completed her dietary internship at the Toronto General Hospital, taught home economics in Kamloops B.C., and then moved back to Calgary where she created and tested recipes for the Canadian Western Natural Gas Company in the Blue Flame Kitchen.

Joan met and married another native Calgarian and the love of her life, Alastair Ross. They were inseparable for a wonderful 49 years until he died in 2002. Together they had six children; Mary, Susan, Stephen (Cathy Gillis), Betsy (Stephan Attal), Cathy (Peter Grundy) and Fraser.

Joan (Nonna) adored her grandchildren and was very proud of their many accomplishments. She will be missed by; Tyler and Stephanie Watts (Mike Zakreski); Josh Kjorven and Dylan Ross; Megan, Robin, Sarah and Liam Grundy; Benjamin, Nathaniel, and Erin Attal; as well as great-grandchildren Lily and Lucy Watts, and Evan Zakreski.

Joan enjoyed the long and close friendship of her sister-in-law Maria Elena (Malenita) Ross, shared many laughs with her other sister-in-law Vera Ross, and enjoyed keeping up with her five nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her brother Eugene (Tim) Venini and survived by her sister Joyce Levas.

Joan was graceful and elegant throughout her life. She was a superb cook and homemaker with numerous interests including needlework, quilting, decorating and travel. She was kind, thoughtful, and quietly just got things done. She volunteered for many years with Meals on Wheels, the Junior League of Calgary, and the Honen Music Competition.

Joan and Alastair loved to entertain family and friends. She would make every occasion a memorable and fun party. She loved people and always made them feel comfortable with kind, attentive details. She could make something wonderful out of nothing, whether it be food, parties, home design, or gardens. She would calmly turn chaos into fun.

Joan exemplified grace. In her black patent pumps she could hike or dance elegantly through life – and did. These last few years when she could no longer speak to us, she clearly communicated her wishes and love with her bright green eyes. She accepted her illness with calmness and grace and lived out her life – her way. She was a steel gardenia who will be truly missed by us all.

Joan was truly blessed in the last number of years of her life to have the friendship and exceptional care of Tess, Eden, Remy and Marietta. They allowed her to live at home as she wished and surrounded her with laughter, dignity and wonderful friendship. She was also comforted by the regular visits of her dear friend George Forsythe.

Joan’s family would like to thank the Palliative Home Care nurses Carol and Nicole, and Dr. Michelle Deyholos, who ensured she could stay near her beloved garden, and whom Joan considered to be a good friend until the end.

A Celebration of Joan’s Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Calgary Meals on Wheels, 5759 80 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2C 4S6Telephone: (403) 243-2834,

In living memory of Joan Ross, 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.

Offer Condolence for the family of ROSS, Joan Maria (nee Venini)

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Condolence Messages

  1. I send my sympathies to you, Stephen, on the death of your mother. She definitely had a long life and it seems it was filled with great love, joy and adventure – something you can reflect on with gratitude. I’m sure Cathy will be a great support at this (and all other) time(s). I extend my condolences to all your family.

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  2. George Forsyth

    Condolences to Joan’s extensive family. The published epitaph was splendid and described a life well lived. She will be missed by many people, including me.

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  3. Barbara Baldwin

    The Ross Family.
    We will remember Joan for her beauty and grace. We could always have
    a good visit with both she and Al at the Oilmen’s golf or the Airport
    Authority functions. Together, may they rest in peace.
    Our sympathy,
    Doug and Barbara Baldwin.

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  4. Brad Marshall and family

    We are very sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. We are thinking of you all.

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  5. Dear Ross Family,
    I am very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. I have so many fond memories of your mom & dad and the times they shared with my Grandparents Charles & Margery Lee.
    Thinking of you at this difficult time.
    Dena Dixon

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  6. Dear Cathy, Peter and Family. Our sincere sympathy on the passing of dear Joan. May precious memories sustain you.
    Elaine and Allen

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  7. Dear Ross Family:
    My sisters and I were so sorry to hear of the death of your mother. Stella, my sister, brought me a copy of your mother’s obituary from the Calgary Herald. Our families, through our fathers (Al & Charles) have had many connections. I was so pleased to read that Joan was able to die peacefully at home
    Ann, Olive, Stella and Jean (the Lee girls)

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  8. Patricia Compton

    Dear Stephen, Cathy, Fraser and family,
    Thinking of you all at this time, It is truly difficult to say goodbye for now to a Mom, the best we can do is be grateful for a life well lived. And Stephen, Fraser, knowing you two tells me she was indeed a splendid mother. What a wonderful legacy! Sending love and white light. Patricia

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  9. Junior League of Calgary

    Joan was a long standing member of the Junior League of Calgary. We were so sorry to hear of Joan’s passing, and we extend sincere condolences to her family. We are thinking of you all at this sad and difficult time.
    The Junior League of Calgary

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