Dr. Jo-Anne Elizabeth Richards passed peacefully at Oakville Trafalgar Hospital on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, at the age of 93.
Jo-Anne is predeceased by her husband, Dr. Terence Alvin Richards, beloved mother of Paul, Sue (Gordon) MacLean, Kathryn (Perry) Miele, Cameron (Stephanie) and David, proud grandmother of Christine (Nolan), Brandon (Jaclyn), Sarah (Jake), Ryan (Isabeau), Bianca (Jeremy), Anthony, Erick, Jack, Owen, Annika and great-grandma to Everly.
Jo-Anne is predeceased by her siblings, the late Patricia Patton and Shirley Parris. Dr. Jo-Anne Richards was the ‘first of her kind’. A trailblazer and early pioneer of the modern woman.
She graduated from Western University Medical School in 1953 and was only one of two women in her graduating class. She went on to do a postgraduate degree in pediatrics and developed the first cleft palate team at Chedoke-MacMaster University Hospital.
While managing a successful career in medicine, she also balanced that with running a large household of five children and a cat and a dog. A sharp and lively bridge player, especially with the ladies at the Roseland Club, enthusiastic doubles tennis player, golfer, expert seamstress, baker and ‘world famous’ chicken pot pie maker!
She was a kind, loving mother and grandmother. She cared deeply about her family and was always there for each one in times of trouble. Homemade chicken soup was always simmering on the stove to heal the heart and soul.
Jo-Anne dedicated her time over the years to the Nelson Youth Centre to support children and youth with mental health challenges and strengthen families in Burlington and surrounding communities.
At the age of 80, Jo-Anne was so inspired by the story of the late Clara Schumann, a piano concert virtuoso, that she wrote a play called ‘Clara,’ which was published and produced into a live performance and radio play.
With her determination to be a doctor and courage to thrive in what was at that time a male-dominated field, Jo-Anne has been an inspiration to all women, and indeed, for every person, that they should never give up on their dreams.
We have all - as children, grandchildren, colleagues, and friends - been blessed to know Jo-Anne and be enriched by her decency, kindness and love. She will be deeply missed by all her family and friends.