Joan Audrey (Elliott) Hollands

April 28, 1932 ~ October 5, 2021 (age 89)


Joan passed away in her sleep with family at her side on the gentle fall morning of October 5, 2021. She was in her 90th year. There was a soft rain just before sunrise, the turning leaves visible outside her window. Dennis, her loving husband of 70 years, spent many of her final hours in her final days holding her hand. Joan provided a nurturing and happy childhood for Leslie Quinn (Derek) and David Hollands (Cathy). She was the loving grandmother of Jonathan Hollands (Rota), Joel Hollands (Nittaya), Alexander Hollands, Danielle Hollands and Emma Hollands, and proud great-grandmother to Nirachaya Pipatkijchanon, and Chloé, Charlotte and Eléonore Hollands. Joan is survived by her sister Gail Lalande (predeceased by Gerry) and family, sister-in-law Doreen Rennie (predeceased by John) and family.


Joan was born in Toronto and grew up in Hamilton. She and Dennis would joke that they were both in menswear when they first met and fell in love, working at Eaton’s in Hamilton. From there they raised their family in Toronto, then spent retirement enjoying the friendliness and scale of Peterborough, then Lindsay and lastly Orillia.


In every place she lived, Joan was devoted to community, friends, and fellowship. She maintained cherished friendships with her school chums going back to the age of 12, friends she has met in her teaching and travels, and the community of friends around her at Leacock Lodge. And she and Dennis have held close their circle of neighbourhood friends from Toronto, all Hamiltonians, a camaraderie of coincidence. Over time Joan was an engaged member of United Church congregations in four cities, involved with Dennis in church community support, fundraising and youth groups. She was active in Guiding, as a Brownie leader for many years, then as a trainer for other Girl Guide leaders. A memorable highlight for her was the shared responsibility of shepherding a large group of impressionable young guides on a six-week tour of the U.K. and Paris. Joan was also proud to work in the newly opened York Finch Hospital, first as a volunteer in the gift shop, then for several years as Assistant Coordinator of Volunteer Services. Her commitment to volunteering included teaching ESL to many new Canadians, teaching cooking in the primary classes in her Peterborough neighbourhood school, and more recently making scarves for charity with her friends in the knitting group.


Joan loved the outdoors – campfire songs, sunshine, the wind in the woods, the changing leaves, deep water ranging from glass to windswept, hummingbirds and loons. She reminisced about times spent with us watching a sunrise at Colpoy’s Bay or the sunsets at Red Bay and Lake Kasshabog.


Her smile could light up a room. And it did, despite some serious illnesses over the years. We are deeply grateful to all the individuals and organizations who supported and cared for Joan on her final journey – Dr. Runk and the Couchiching Family Health Team, caring staff and friends at Leacock Retirement Lodge and the kind-hearted incredibly expert staff and volunteers at Mariposa House Hospice.


In accordance with her wishes, Joan has been cremated and her ashes will be interred at beautiful Little Lake Cemetery, in Peterborough. A gathering of family and friends for a celebration of life will be held at St. Paul’s Centre, Orillia, 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 6th, 2021. Please note that masks are mandatory and Covid protocols will be enforced. Messages of condolence are welcome at


As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to Mariposa House Hospice in Severn Ontario via the link below or by contacting Kandas Bartlett, Administrative Coordinator 705-558-2888

To send flowers to Joan's family, please visit our floral store.


Private Interment

LittleLake Cemetery
915 Haggart Street
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 2Y1


Mariposa House Hospice
1140 Brodie Drive, Severn ON L3V0V2
Tel: 1-705-558-2888

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