Neil Bardal Funeral CentrePhone: 204-949-22003030 Notre Dame Avenue WinnipegMBR3H 1B9 info@nbardal.mb.ca info@nbardal.mb.ca info@nbardal.mb.ca
MacKenzie Funeral Chapel | Phone: 204-467-2525 433 Main Street | Stonewall, MB R0C 2Z0 info@mackenziefh.com
Neil Bardal Funeral Centre | Phone: 204-642-7124 | 82 5th Street, PO. Box 1889 | Gimli, MB R0C 1B0 | info@nbardal.mb.ca

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Jo-Anne  Findlay

Jo-Anne Findlay

Friday, May 28th, 2021

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Obituary

Obituary for Jo-Anne Margaret Findlay

Jo-Anne Margaret Findlay, FCPA, FCA (nee Horsfall) peacefully said her final goodbyes, at home, at a time of her choosing, on Friday, May 28, 2021. She was surrounded by her husband and two sons and passed while listening to Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles, at maximum volume, at her request.

She was predeceased by her parents, Bernard (Ben) Horsfall and Eileen Horsfall (nee McMillan). She is survived by her husband Keith; sons Graeme (Samantha Frost) and Colin (Bronwyn Fenn); sister Judith Jackson (David Skinner); and brother Robert Horsfall, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws, and so many great friends whom she loved dearly. We would love to list each and every one of her close friends but that would require her family to reserve an entire page in the newspaper, and she'd want us to save the money.

Known to her family as "the Lovely Jo-Anne" (a name she picked up at the Shrine Circus in the mid-90's when the elephant trainer was introduced by the same name), she was just that – lovely. Beyond that, she was kind, loving, genuine, trustworthy, funny, intelligent, and lived a life of integrity. She embodied generosity, strength, perseverance, courage, dignity and grace each and every day.

Jo-Anne was raised in Silver Heights, attending Strathmillan Elementary, Golden Gate Junior High and Silver Heights High School, graduating in 1976. Excelling as a student, she often reminded her family of how she skipped grade two and yet still graduated at the top of her class in nearly every subject. As a young woman, she worked many part-time retail jobs, including at The International Set and Eaton's Polo Park in the china department where she made many lifelong friends. She then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Manitoba in 1980 and achieved her Chartered Accountant designation in 1983. Jo-Anne articled at Clarkson Gordon where she, again, made many lifelong friends. She then worked in an internal audit position at the Hudson's Bay Company and quickly progressed to an executive position as the head of internal audit for Western Canada. Being the selfless person that she was, she then transitioned to private practice as a Chartered Accountant out of her home office to be available for her children. She could have advanced to any position she desired in the corporate world, and turned down many opportunities, but she sacrificed her individual success for the benefit of her family. In 2018, she was proud to receive her FCPA, FCA designation in recognition of her contributions to the profession and the community. After her retirement, she often assisted with favoured former clients "just for fun".

While in the Faculty of Commerce, she met the love of her life, Keith. They often went out dancing in the early years, but she was sorely disappointed to learn many years later - Keith doesn't dance. Lucky for Keith their love had already cemented itself and she was stuck with him for good. Together they had two boys, Graeme (1988) and Colin (1991). Jo-Anne often told her boys that she would have preferred to have two beautiful ballerinas, but she came to admit that they weren't a bad consolation. They challenged her patience early and often but, to this day, her boys claim they were just providing her opportunities to show how great of a mother she truly was. She was as close to perfect as a mother could ever be.

Diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 45, MS may have taken Jo-Anne's body, but it did not take her mind. She read voraciously, almost anything put in front of her. Even in the final year of her life, she educated herself on subjects she knew she would never put to real-world use but did so as she loved to have intelligent conversations with those who did. Subjects as diverse as family law, wills and estate law, Indigenous studies and cake decorating; yes, cake decorating. She even became a certified wedding planner in 2020 which was a not-so-subtle hint to her boys to move it along.

Jo-Anne was involved in many charitable initiatives and held many board positions, including, the MS Society of Manitoba and was the President of Canada Day celebrations for Manitoba in the late 1980's. Jo-Anne also took great joy from being the Treasurer of the Legal Help Centre of Winnipeg, a position which reinvigorated her as it gave her the opportunity to make a real, measurable impact on so many lives. Real things for real people. She dedicated herself to this position even participating in meetings in the days just prior to her death. We truly believe her passion for and dedication to this role prolonged her life.

To her countless friends, it broke her heart to leave without saying goodbye, but take solace in the fact that she spoke about you even in her final hours and shared with her family many of her favourite memories. She loved you all so very much and her relationships with her friends were one of the greatest joys of her life. Thank you for being her friend.

As well, we owe a debt of gratitude to the tremendous young women who provided her daily home care during the last few years of her life. We could not have done without your gracious and loving care.
In lieu of flowers and casseroles, donations to the Legal Help Centre of Winnipeg Inc. or Dying With Dignity Canada would be greatly appreciated. You can also honour Jo-Anne by being kind to others, engaging in genuine conversations and never taking the vagaries of life too seriously.

Jo-Anne and her family wish to thank Dr. Al Schroeder, Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie and the incredible and kind M.A.I.D. team. A celebration of life of the Lovely Jo-Anne will be held when circumstances permit.

“Gracious in awareness, courage in thought and generous in love.” Per Mary James

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Bob Tollefson

Keith
Peg and I are devastated at the news of the loss of your wonderful Jo-Anne. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. So many memories come flooding in when I think of days gone bye, working late, deadlines and long hours, Christmas parties at Thorne Riddell and summers at Clearwate Bay, All good.

Bob and Peggy Tollefson

Comment | Posted at 10:01am via Condolence
LL

Laurie Lipinski

Dear Keith, Graeme, Colin and family,
My sincere and deepest sympathies to you on the passing of Dear Lovely Jo-Anne. I knew Jo-Anne through my dear friend Heather Clarke so Jo-Anne was a dear friend of a dear friend. Interesting how these connections flow through. I have attached a picture from a Halloween Party Heather and I had likely October 1982. We were all 20 somethings in the 80s then. Our Halloween party was famous (infamous?). There was such a fabulous energy! Jo-Anne's energy and Keith's too can be seen in this photo. Take much care.
Laurie (Tackaberry) Lipinski
Comment | Posted at 12:53pm via Condolence
JP

James Pappas

Keith and family...I was indeed taken aback to read this obituary for Jo-Anne today. She was always such a bright lovely person and so full of fun. This must be a very difficult journey for you as she always said you were the bright light in her life. Wishing you many happy memories of that beautiful face of hers. She left a real impression on me and for that I am thankful
All good thoughts as you face the days ahead
Jim Pappas
Comment | Posted at 04:36pm via Condolence
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