It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. Joan was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (brain tumour) in October. She was brave and met each challenge with grace until her final moment. Her wish was to spend more time with her thirteen grandchildren, who were her pride and joy.

Joan was born in Burnaby, B.C. to Helen Crawford (nee Nicol) and Andrew Crawford of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was predeceased by her parents; brother, Glen Crawford and sister, Andrea Drought (nee Crawford).

Joan moved to Victoria, B.C. in 1953 at the age of six. She grew up in Oak Bay and attended Oak Bay High School (Grad Class of ’64). Joan was an avid swimmer and swam competitively with the Victoria Amateur Swim Club (VASC). It was during her time at VASC that she met her future husband, Gordon (Gord) Alexander.

Joan attended the University of Victoria to study Education. She began teaching in 1968 at George Jay Elementary School. Joan loved working with children and made many life-long friends throughout her teaching career.

Joan retired in 2006 to travel and be a full time Grandma. Joan and Gord enjoyed many adventures together. Joan loved going on cruises and spent memorable holidays in Alaska, Europe, Australia, and across Canada. She and Gord never missed an opportunity to travel with their children and grandchildren. Joan especially cherished family trips to Disneyland, Maui, Parksville, Bamberton and Lake Cowichan. Joan’s grandchildren were her priority and she always welcomed them with open arms and no judgements. She was fiercely proud of them and they adored her. It was a common saying in our family, “There is no place like Grandma’s house.”

Joan is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, Gord Alexander; her children, Jeanette (Marc), Bruce (Robyn), Pauline (Mike) and Joanna (Ty); her grandchildren, Catherine, Dane, Aubrey, Caroline, Spencer, Owen, Hayley, Grace, Will, Jordan, Evelyn, Zoey and Julia; brother-in-law, Kelvin; nephews, Nick and Zack and niece, Brenna. She will be greatly missed by many other relatives and friends.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Joan may be made to Victoria Hospitals Foundation at:

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Donna Prelypchan

    Dear Gord and family – it broke my heart this morning to read of Joan’s passing. My mind cast back to all the fun times we shared as next door neighbours on Pacific Avenue, putting on shows in our basement, going to swimming together (my Dad was our coach), spending the summers at Carnarvon Parks program – to name but a few. I often touched base with you Gord (at the hospital) to catch up on your family life. Joan remained such a star! May her memory continue to shine brightly! Take care – Donna (Bishop) Prelypchan

  • Nancy Ryan (Robson)

    Dear Gordie and family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. I have wonderful memories from our VASC years, university and then being honoured to be in your wedding party 54 years ago!
    Please let me know when you will be having Joan’s celebration of life. I’m sure there would be a group from the swim club who would like to attend.
    With fond memories, Nancy Ryan (Robson)

  • Barb Jones

    I was very saddened to read about the recent passing of Joan. I had the pleasure of meeting Joan thru our mutual friend Cathie. Joan would always speak with such caring and pride about her family – Gord, her children and their spouses, but even more so about her amazing grandchildren. She was a role model for the perfect grandmother for her enthusiastic involvement in their lives.
    My thoughts are with Joan’s family at this very sad and difficult time.

  • Doug Bidwell

    I have no words other than to say what a wonderful person Joan was. Like her parents, she treated me like family… and my own kids. Condolences to all.

    Doug Bidwell



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