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 georgehermanhouse.com)
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.
Joan’s memory will live on in my heart, and her beautiful jewelry will sparkle on my wrists always. Alysa, I’m sending you deep, deep love and compassion. My heart is with you
My absolute hero.
Forever and always.
I am comforted that my aunt touched so many lives as deeply as she touched those of us in her family. She has been a guiding force my entire life and I know that will continue, just in a different form.
The best gift she ever gave me was in giving my children and me another aunt in our beloved Alysa.
Thank you to all who send condolences.
Always loved and cherished always.
Joan was and always be an incredible light.
Love to Alysa and those who walk in sorrow.
Joan was a gift to so many of us. Her healing spirit, humour and ability to get to the point in particular were so helpful during my time on the board with GHH when Joan was our ED.
Alysa and Joan’s family: I am sending my love to you all. I know that Joan is with you in your hearts and her spirit continues. She made a difference in this world, and this is not something that most people do.
Joan will forever be an inspiration a friend a leader and the person whose love and light blessed me in countless ways! She will be greatly missed and forever remembered.
Love goes to Alysa and her family and friends.. 🌹
I remember that smile,it lifted you up and made the day a little brighter.Alysa always in my thoughts.
Dear Alysa! My deepest condolences to you on the passing of Joan. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Dear Alysa, the love that you and Joan shared over so many years and the loving care you gave Joan these past years, these will remain an inspiration for us all.
I was sorry to hear about Joan’s passing. please accept my deepest sympathies.
Heartfelt condolences to you Alysa and family.
Joan was an inspiration with a huge heart leaving behind many who loved her!
She’ll be sorely missed but her memory will be with me forever. RIP our dearest Joan .
My deepest condolences on the passing of Joan. I remember her from many years ago as a deeply compassionate healer. Sending love to you.
Dear Alysa and Joan’s family,
I wish to extend my utmost sincere condolences to you on the passing of Joan.
I never had the pleasure of meeting her but I worked at the Toronto Reference Library and I know Alysa and she often spoke of Joan including especially their trips to Cuba
before Joan became too ill to travel. I can see from her obituary that Joan was a very special person and made a real difference in this world and has left an inspirational legacy that I hope will be followed by others. To her family you have lost a very treasured person and I hope that the memory of love she had for all of you will be a source of solace in this heartbreaking time.
My heartfelt condolences to Alysa and family – you are in my thoughts and in my heart. I know that Joan is with you in spirit and helping you, especially right now. Joan was a special person and we will remember her.
My thoughts are with you at this sad and difficult time Alysa. My sincere condolences to your and Joan’s family and friends.
Alysa there are no words to say …except when you were in Joan’s circle you were loved.. It has been a long time since we shared laughes in Manotick at the Black Dog! I will remember Joan laughing and sharing her kindness… sending you big hugs xoxo
Very very sorry to hear of your loss, M’Alice (Alysa).
Thinking of you during these difficult times.