Joan Ellis-Hill
Joan Ellis-Hill
Joan Ellis-Hill
Joan Ellis-Hill

Obituary of Joan Ellis-Hill

It is with great sadness, and also with great love, that we announce the death of Joan Ellis-Hill  on June 5, 2024.  Her last day was spent enjoying things she loved: being in the beautiful countryside with her partner, John James.  


Joan is survived by her partner John; children from her first marriage with Christopher: Erika, Andrea, Peter, and Leslie; her grandchildren from Erika and Tony: Genevieve, Caitlin, and Matthew; her grandchildren from Andrea and Graham: Emily and Charlie; and her granddaughter from Leslie and Gilles: Rebecca.


John brought into Joan’s life his daughter Pamela; granddaughters Robyn and Michayla, and great grandson Kaellum; his grandson Joel; his son David; granddaughter Christen; son Mark; and granddaughters Zoë and Sasha.


Joan also leaves behind good friends, and the family is very sorry for their loss.


Joan was born on January 26, 1937, in Manchester, England to Charles Ellis Hill and Minnie Ida Watson.  The family moved to Wolfville when Joan was 12 years old.  Joan would spend years living in Quebec and Saskatchewan, but Nova Scotia was where she came home to in the end.    


A lifelong learner, she earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Library Sciences from McGill University.  After completing her Masters, she served as a dedicated librarian in the Medical Sciences Library at the University of Saskatoon. This was also where she met her partner, John, the person who she shared the last decades of her life with.


Joan was a natural at being a librarian, and she was constantly searching for, and organizing, knowledge.  She was so excited to share with her loved ones lines of poetry that moved her, or to sit and admire a beautiful piece of art.   She found wisdom in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, the study of meditation, and Buddhism.  She read extensively, and “A Course in Miracles” profoundly shaped Joan’s worldview.   Her interests were varied and included antiquing, gardening, puzzles, knitting, sudoku, cryptograms, birding, Tai Chi, and Scrabble; she was even a member of a drum circle at one point.


Joan had an adventurous spirit.  With John, she traveled to Costa Rica to work as a librarian at a local radio station.  She walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and rambled through the countryside of England.  She went on safari in South Africa, where she steadfastly refused to watch a lion hunt because it was too brutal, while reassuring her grandchildren that this was a beautiful and natural life process.  She knew that life could be hard, but was always trying to find the beauty and peace in it.


A gathering of friends will be held on Saturday, June 15, at 886 Main St. Kingston, Nova Scotia from 1pm to 3pm. A celebration of Joan’s life will take place at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to one of the below charities in Joan’s name:



Canadian Wildlife Federation

We deliver programs that encourage people to experience the great outdoors, learn about the wonders of nature and the trials it faces. We also challenge government and industry to improve legislation and practices that negatively impact wildlife and habitat.


Hope Blooms

A community improvement program stemming from communal growing plots.  Touches on Education, but mainly looks at getting its members to grow organic produce for themselves.


Nova Scotia Nature Trust

A conservation charity trying to keep the natural bits of Nova Scotia natural.  They focus on private land(owners) keeping those areas wild, protected, and maintained. 


Joan, Mum, Noanie, Grandmom, - We love you.  “It’s the journey, not the destination”.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Joan
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Serenity Funeral Home
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