Joan Wallace peacefully passed away at home on April 17, 2021. Joan was the beloved wife and best friend of Alysa Neal. She was also a loving sister, doting aunt and a fierce friend to all who were lucky enough to stand next to her light.
As a profoundly talented healer, she leaves behind a monumental trail of mended hearts, minds, bodies and spirits. Her devotion to make the world a better place was inspiring and contagious and fully realized. We are sad to see her go, but anyone who was loved by her knows that she will always be with us.
Besides Alysa, other relatives grieving their loss are her brother Dennis Wallace and his wife Carol Hanson, as well as her niece Erin McNeill and her great-nephews Brendan and Michael Parisi and great-niece Colleen Parisi. Joan was pre-deceased by her younger sister Dorothy Bythewood in 2007.
As George Herman House’s Executive Director for 15 years, Joan completely transformed the existing program for countless women — ten at a time — with mental health diagnoses. She revamped the program by using a holistic approach to wellness. Besides being based on an organic (when possible) nutritional program, Joan inspired her staff and new social work students from many Toronto colleges and universities to treat the women as people going through a tough time, not as “labels” destined to be on medication their whole life long. Women learned life skills while living at GHH, which included cooking for 15 (!) and were also offered free support from massage therapists, yoga instructors, Heilkunstlers, and occasionally, artists.
If you wish to honour Joan with a donation to George Herman House, that would be appreciated. (See
Due to the current plandemic, no public service, virtual or otherwise, is planned for the immediate future. A celebration of life will take place once restrictions are loosened and family and friends who live in the US can travel to Toronto. If you wish to be notified at that time, please contact Alysa.
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