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Joan C. deBustin (nee Watson)

May 22, 1921 - September 22, 2020

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At Barrie Royal Victoria Hospital, Ontario, on September 23, 2020, age 99. Pre-deceased by her beloved husband Anthony de Bustin, and survived by her loving son James Anthony (Jaime) de Bustin, as well as her devoted nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Joan’s long life was well-lived and absolutely packed full of adventure. At the age of 23, in 1942, Joan went off to join the “Wrens” (WRCNS) to serve as a signaller in Halifax. After the war, she turned to the study of Art. In Montreal, she studied under the distinguished guidance of Dr. Arthur Lismer, one of the famous Group of Seven. Following that, Joan undertook the challenging study of Medical Art at the University of Toronto. In addition, Joan studied drawing and painting at Northern Vocational School. Joan’s landscapes and portraits can be seen gracing the walls of our family homes. Continuing her Volunteer path, Joan was selected as one of just eight young Canadian Red Cross women to be sent to Japan to help rehabilitate wounded Canadian military men in 1952. She spent a number of years in Japan, Hong Kong and Formosa, engaged in both Red Cross welfare work and painting commissions. She returned with many memories, sketches and souvenirs. Once back in Canada, Joan set off on another adventure, painting a series of eight landscapes as she travelled across the Alaska Highway. These paintings were purchased by the Canadian Post Card Company, which produced the first set of
coloured postcards to be taken from actual paintings in this country. The cards were sold in hotels, gift shops and restaurants located on the Alaska Highway. These paintings can be seen in her book: From End of Steel to the Far Northwest: The Alaska Highway. During her time in Toronto after the Korean war, Joan was particularly kind to her nieces and nephews – taking them skating at the Granite Club, or up north to the cottage. She and her budgie entertained the family with tea, cookies and Battenburg cake in her apartment. In 1955, Joan married Anthony de Bustin, embarking on many happy years at Kylie Farm near Cheltenham, with their son Jaime. Joan later moved to a lakefront home on the shore of Georgian Bay near Watson Point. It was not long before she resumed volunteer work with the Penetanguishene Hospital, and the local Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Joan was a keen member of the RCMI (The Royal Canadian Military Institute). Her most recent home was in Barrie. Always remembered as an energetic, lively, involved, and determined woman, Joan led a fascinating life. She will be greatly missed. Cremation has taken place. In view of the pandemic, a funeral service will be held when conditions permit. Interment is to be at St. James the Less Cemetery, Toronto. If desired, memorial donations may be made to The Canadian Red Cross. Messages of condolences may be forwarded to the family through