Posted: June 28th, 2021

Muriel Joanne Taylor (Gilchrist), known to her friends and family as Joanne, Auntie Jo and Grandma Jo, passed away peacefully at the age of 83, with family at her side on June 13, 2021 in Victoria, BC, after a long battle with multiple myeloma.


Joanne was an international traveller, a published writer, a lifelong political and social activist, a gifted artist and dedicated to family. Her wide-ranging creative talents, love of adventure and community involvement continued to provide her with positive sources of energy, happiness and satisfaction.


Joanne grew up in Alberta on the Deer Creek Ranch, took most of her schooling in Milk River but graduated from high school in Warner. She worked in advertising in Calgary and Vancouver after completing a B.A. in Psychology and Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan in 1958 and a Diploma in Business Administration in 1960. Travelling and working in Europe and the Middle East in the 1960s, Joanne was an usher at Covent Garden Opera, a puppeteer, a barmaid, a shop girl, and a Paris au pair. She returned to Alberta and, in 1977, began teaching Life Skills and Special Needs classes at the Medicine Hat College, where she met Dan, whom she married in 1978. She later became a social worker with the Alberta Government and later a very active volunteer for Medalta. In 2002 she and Dan moved to Deer Field Farm on Vancouver Island, where she grew squash for local restaurants and continued creating art. Following Dan’s death in 2004, Joanne moved to Sidney, BC where she continued her creative arts and volunteerism, most recently for the Green Party of Canada.


Joanne is survived by her brothers and their families, Tom (Lois) Gilchrist and Glen (Peggy) Gilchrist, as well as the children of her blended family: Kristen Needham and Jeff (Sandra) Needham, Daniel (Jane) Taylor, Shari Featherstone, Terri Taylor, Susan (Gary) Rodgers, Rod (Amy) Taylor. She has 15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren and was predeceased by her husband of 26 years, Daniel Gregory Taylor.


Donations in Joanne’s name are welcome and should be directed to the BC Cancer Foundation (https://bccancerfoundation.com/)


A celebration of life will be held in Victoria later this year once travel and gathering restrictions are eased.


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4 Condolences for “TAYLOR (nee GILCHRIST)”

  1. Catherine Smith says:

    My condolences to the family of Joanne. I have fond memories of Joann leading the creation of beautiful banners in celebration of Medicine Hat hosting the 1990 Alberta Seniors Game. The city was decorated with these beautiful banners. She was a wonderful citizen wherever she lived. My young daughters at the time had great memories of Joanne teaching them how to make those banners.

  2. Marlene Evers says:

    Kristen and Jeff. Your mom was a very special lady. I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. Donalda Cormier says:

    Joanne was my kindred spirit. First, we were colleagues and then we became friends. We met when we were life skills coaches at the Medicine Hat College. We shared not only an office but also our dreams, our frustrations, our teaching ideas, recipes- our lives. She was an amazing teacher, who brought her creativity and her artistry to her work -coming up with different ways to approach a lesson. She was committed to the success of her students, and this was reflected in the care she took in doing her work.
    I admired Joannes’s courage and her resilience in facing the adversities of life as they came her way. She and Dan were friends of Dave and mine and the four of us spent many evenings in deep engaging conversation that ranged widely. The amazing thing was that even though the miles later separated us, we could always pick up and reengage with each other after the first hello hug.
    Even in my recent conversation with Joanne, she continued to display her can do attitude even though she was confined to bed.
    Joanne was an amazing woman- of enormous strength, resilience, passion for life, courage, and creativity. She brought these qualities to all she did and shared these gifts with others.
    I will miss her as I know many will whose life she touched.
    I send condolences to Kristen and Jeff -and their families.

  4. Donny White says:

    Joanne had many gifts, not the least, the ability to listen keenly, to converse easily and make all around her feel they mattered. She leaves a void not just with the Gilchrist clan but to all those who knew her……it was an honour to know you Joanne.
    Donny White

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