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Joyce Shimoji



June 23, 1930 - February 28, 2021

After a brief illness preceded by a long brave journey through dementia, Joyce Shimoji passed away on February 28, 2021 at age 90. She passed away at home, comfortably and calmly, while  under the care of her long time personal care attendant Liezl Pacete and the staff of the Simkin Centre.

Joyce is survived by her sons, Bert (Paula) Finkelstein and Mark Finkelstein, and their half-sister Janine Baer; stepchildren, Joel (Dena) Shimoji, Leanne (Dean) Chale, and Tammy Shimoji; grandchildren, Samson (Charlotte Greenblatt) Finkelstein, Jonah (Laura Emiola) Finkelstein, Jenna (Levi) Johnston, Amanda, Sara and  Kiera Shimoji, and Kirsten and Hannah Chale; great-grandchildren, Freya and Tomas Finkelstein, Londyn Johnston, Hailee, and Jonah Emiola; sister Clarice Rubin; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Tom Shimoji; siblings, Harry (Sandy) Riesenberg, Mickey (Jean) Riesenberg, Beckey Selwyn, and Sylvia (Jack) Knazan; Jack Finkelstein; and son-in-law Boyd Newton.

Joyce was born on June 23, 1930 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She grew up in the North End and attended Saint John’s Collegiate. She moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where she met her first husband Jack Finkelstein. They were married in 1952 and moved to Regina, Saskatchewan. After having their two sons, Mark and Bert, they moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Joyce raised her family, volunteered with various charitable organizations and developed a life-long love  of antiques, particularly antique art glass. She also enjoyed her time golfing, gardening and, for a time, showing the family dog Rocky in various local dog shows. Above all she enjoyed the time spent with her sisters, Clarice, Sylvia, and Becky; and their families.

Later in life Joyce married Tom Shimoji. Many years of travel, special times at Falcon lake, and the gift of watching her grandchildren grow up followed. After Tom’s passing in 2006, the entire Shimoji family adopted Joyce and so generously gave of their love, time, and attention until the very end.  It seemed there was always someone around to maintain Mom’s spirits and positivity. It was of immense comfort knowing this support was being given and could not be more appreciated.

Joyce was a personality who made an impression. She enjoyed celebration and actively pursued happiness. A lesson to be heeded.  She loved her grandchildren and was never happier, than when as she aged,  she  had the pleasure of holding  her great-grandchildren knowing how precious and rare these opportunities were becoming. She fought, sometimes angrily, the effects of her dementia but graciously accepted her dependence as her condition worsened and so appreciated the care she received. We are forever thankful for the kind care of her personal care attendant Liezl Pacete and her long-time friend and attendant Antonia Kotulas. Words cannot express the depths of her family’s gratitude.

The family would also like to thank the doctors and nurses on 4-South at the Grace General Hospital for the attentive compassionate care they offered. In particular, they express their sincere gratitude to the medical and nursing staff at the Simkin Center for their long-term, and ultimately palliative care their mother.

As per Joyce’s wishes, cremation will take place. At a future date, when family and friends can safely gather, a celebration of life will be held.

In lieu of flowers please consider memorial contributions to The Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba, 180 McPhillips Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 2J9, are gratefully appreciated.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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