"Family is not an important thing. It's everything." - Michael J. Fox
Joy's life revolved around her family. From Ivan and the kids in her early days, to visits with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in later years. Joy was always there to help, support and enjoy her family. She never forgot a birthday, always sending greeting cards and, no Christmas was complete, without Joy providing a gift to all who joined in the Fidler celebration. Imagine buying for nine children, their spouses, as well as 24 grand-children and 50 great grand-children, yikes! She was a true matriarch and will be dearly missed!
Joy Evelyn Ruth Verdelle was born on July 13, 1928 in Calvert Township, to parents Albert and Isabelle (Hepburn) Des Chenes. Joy was soon joined by younger siblings June, Bert and Mary. The Des Chenes family lived on the outskirts of Porcupine, Ontario where Joy began her schooling. Sadly, Joy's father died of Tuberculosis in his early 30's. Shortly after, Isabelle and the children relocated back to Grey/Bruce to be closer to family. After time, Joy's mother got remarried to Herb Schmidt, and the family soon welcomed younger siblings Ralph and Ray.
In Joy’s teenage years she attended a business program in Hanover, weekends were usually spent with friends attending local barn and home dances. On one such evening, Joy was introduced to Ivan John Fidler, through mutual friends. The two hit it off immediately and that was the beginning of Ivan and Joy’s life together. The young couple were wed on December 19, 1945 in Elmwood. They welcomed their first son, Larry, and soon after the Fidler family grew, and grew, and grew, with the arrivals of Dale, Bruce, Jo-Anne, John, Susanne, Dawn, Terrilea, Timothy and Jeremy. Sadly, Jeremy died during infancy.
The Fidler family soon settled north of Elmwood. To say life was busy for Joy, would be an understatement! Her husband and her children were her world and she worked tirelessly to provide for them. In time, Joy became involved in the honey business, whereby, she would help extract, package, and her passion, was selling to her loyal “honey customers”. She thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity, as she was able to interact, share stories and catch-up with friends and neighbours, who came back, year after year, generation after generation.
Joy's faith was a very important part of her life. When the children were young, they began attending St. John's Lutheran Church in Elmwood, and Joy volunteered her time as a Sunday School teacher, teaching not only her children, but also, some of her grand-children. She remained in this role for many, many years. In the summer months, she enjoyed helping with vacation bible school. In fact, St. John's was a second home for Joy and there were many special events throughout her life shared there.
As her family grew, Joy was afforded more time to do other things she enjoyed. She soon became more active in her community, as a member of the Elmwood Women's Institute, helping with Elmwood Minor Ball and in later years, was a member of the Elmwood Seniors. Joy’s love of reading led her to volunteer at the Elmwood Library. She was eventually offered a job and became the librarian in Elmwood, a position she thoroughly loved until her retirement.
When not working or caring for her family, Joy enjoyed a competitive game of cards, especially solo and euchre. She loved to travel, and enjoyed her visits to Hawaii, Australia, parts of the US, as well as, taking in Canada, coast to coast. Joy liked to collect coins and was forever cutting out newspaper articles which she proudly displayed, especially the ones that mentioned her family or friends. Along with the newspaper clippings, her love for local history, brought people into her home to seek out her knowledge. She also shared her love to her dogs, particularly, her beloved pugs!
Ivan's health began to decline in 1996, whereby he and Joy moved into Elmwood, to the house on Dirstein Street. Here Joy cared to her husband's every need, until he no longer could remain in the home. Ivan eventually called Parkview Manor his home, were Joy would visit daily and volunteered her time helping other residents. Sadly, Ivan died in 1999. It was during this time, that Joy continued her outreach in the community by helping a variety of seniors with day-to-day needs, whether it be help in their home or a ride to an appointment. If there was a need, Joy was glad to help! It was also in these years, that Joy became a staple at her family's sporting events. It would be fair to say that she was the family’s most faithful spectator! She could be found watching her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren in any sport, she would be there as long as one of her family was playing, but more family, the merrier she was. I was even told that on occasion, Joy would let the officials have it... yep you read that right.... she would let out all her frustrations on the refs or umpires, to their dismay, of course. To my surprise, there were even a few times, when Joy had to be reminded, by her children and grandchildren, “that it was just a game, not war”. I think it is fair to say, that even though she did not play, she was not afraid to get involved in the game!
In May of 2012, with Joy's health declining, she made the move to Brucelea Haven in Walkerton. She continued to love her visits with friends and family and always enjoyed hearing about events that were happening in the local community, news about her friends and of course, her family. Sadly, Joy died on Sunday, January 27, 2019 in her 91st year.
Loving mother of Larry (Carole), Dale (Karon), Bruce (Donna), Jo-Anne (Shane) Jackson, John (Elaine Young), Susanne Leifso, Dawn (Alf) Brenndorfer, Terrilea Fidler and Timothy. Adored grandmother of 24 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren. Joy will be sadly missed by her sisters-in-law Heather Schmidt, Marjorie Schmidt, Shirley Des Chenes, Marion “Esther” Dallas, Rena Fidler and brother-in-law Gerald (Verona) Fidler. She was predeceased by her husband Ivan, son Jeremy, son-in-law Brian Leifso, grandson Duane, sisters June Des Chenes, Mary Wheeler, brothers Bert Des Chenes, Ralph Schmidt and Ray Schmidt.
Visitation will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Elmwood on Thursday from 6 - 9 p.m. and again on Friday from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. where a funeral service celebrating Joy’s life will be held at the church beginning at 1 p.m. Spring interment in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Elmwood.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Chesley Hospital Foundation or Brucelea Haven Activation Fund would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.Send to friend