Joyce Saunders

Obituary of Joyce Saunders

Obituary of Joyce Elsie Saunders (McCombs)


With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Joyce Elsie Saunders (McCombs) on Monday, March 13, 2023 at Ian Anderson House in Oakville. Joyce, also known as “Nanny”, was predeceased by her husband Gary “Poppa” Saunders, her son Gary “GG”, her parents Annabelle Smart (Smagata) and Lloyd McCombs, sisters Barbara, Dianne and twin sister Janice. She leaves behind her daughter Jo-Anne (Ron), Brother James, grand-daughters Lisa and Jennifer (Kyle) as well as her great-grandkids, Matthew, Madison, Jordyn, Chase, her favourite family pets, especially Watson and Whiskey, along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, an abundance of friends.

Joyce enjoyed spreading love. She would go out of her way to create cards for every occasion - Personalizing each one with notes or stickers, including sending cards to family and friends from their pets. She enjoyed spoiling her family and would again go out of her way to make sure they were taken care of and had what they needed, even if it meant she went without. She made Christmases special with the thought she put into each gift and made them fun (depending who you ask) to unwrap, as she solely used rolls of packing tape! She was a very independent woman who always made sure she paid her way. She was feisty, stubborn, sassy and had no problems telling you how she felt or what she wanted! She was also incredibly full of love, was generous, thoughtful and smart. Diabetes played a huge role in Joyce’s life as she managed it for decades, but didn’t allow it to control her life. She did have some health concerns over the years because of it, but managed to get through them, as she was a formidable woman.

She was happy driving, going out for meals and treats, shopping and was eager to visit old friends when she could. Joyce would see something at a store, or see a commercial for something and think ‘Oh that would be perfect for this person’ and would go find it, or make calls so someone could get it for her, so she could gift it (always being sure to pay that person back). She enjoyed giving gifts and seeing someone happy with what she got them - whether it was socks, a knick-knack, food or a card with a specific picture on it – a trait and passion she infected others with, making them want to do the same. It’s one of the many ways she will be missed and remembered, and one of the many ways she will live on.

She enjoyed many phone calls with multiple friends and family on the daily, and looked forward to family dinners and gatherings. She liked knowing what was going on in your life, and was always eager to share what she and Gary were up to. While speaking with some of them recently about her condition, they fondly recalled those cards and calls, and hinted to the numerous stories they could tell through their decades of friendship and adventures. Several people have already noticed the absence of cards and calls, and miss them dearly.

She enjoyed cooking for people and would happily deliver meals to nearby friends if they were sick or to celebrate something. She had a few specialties that many of us will miss, including her cream peas and cabbage rolls. Even if her feet or back were aching or she had a bad day, she had no problem whipping up a full roast beef dinner for whoever was there to eat it!

Anyone who knew Joyce, knew she enjoyed ice cold diet coke while watching what she loved -game shows and her favorite movies on repeat! It was fun to chat about how much money we would win, if it was us on those shows instead. And of course, Joyce loved Bingo! Bingo has been a fun past-time of hers for decades, and always brightened her spirits. Even while her late husband was battling Alzheimer’s, he would join her at the Bingo Hall and play along. And if you went with her to Bingo, you knew the rule – if anyone wins over $20, you split! Her and her husband also enjoyed word search puzzles and she always had one in her purse for laundry days or breaks at Bingo. Bingo breaks also meant pull tab and scratch tickets (another thing she would often put in holiday cards, too).

Joyce and Gary, known affectionately as Nanny and Poppa, were iconic in the lives of their friends and families. They were a part of gatherings, holidays, celebrations and just-because visits on a regular basis – events didn’t feel complete if they weren’t there. They enjoyed driving to warm places like Florida or South Carolina to Myrtle Beach.


They were in their 60th year of marriage and took care of each other in more ways than words can say. For the last couple of weeks, she spoke openly about missing Poppa and wanting to hold his hand. Now they are at rest together, forever. They truly supported each other through the better or for worse, and stuck together in sickness and in health – something we can all aspire to.

There will be a Celebration of Life to inter Joyce and Gary’s ashes in Fonthill (date to be determined), where many of Joyce’s family is laid to rest. We hope any and all who love and remember Joyce and Gary will be able to join us in that celebration where we can grieve, love, laugh and share memories of them, together. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joyce’s memory to:
Diabetes Canada by using the Donations Tab on her home page.

Please share your memories, photos and sentiments of Joyce's life here at her memorial web page.

Uniquely entrusted to eco Cremation & Burial Services Inc.

- Modern Funerals -