Joan Eleanor Kotan (1936-2022)
It is with sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing of our beautiful mother, Joan Kotan (Laplante) in her 87th year. Peacefully, oh so peacefully on November 1, 2022, while in the care of nurse Colette at North Bay Regional Health Care Facility. As a family, we hold solace in knowing that she did not suffer and left on her own terms. She had a wonderful morning telling stories, talking about her family and her puppy, laughing and giving advice. As the beautiful morning sunshine warmed and filled the room with a glow, she closed her eyes and slipped quietly and peacefully away. Her nurse said that everyone should be so lucky to go as she did. Still, we are deeply saddened with her unexpected passing. We knew our Mom and Grandma, affectionately known as “Gma” by the grandkids, would not be with us forever, but this was too sudden.
Born in Callander, ON in 1936. Predeceased by her parents Alma (Thornton) and Albert Laplante, her sister “Glady” Lawrence and the love of her life and husband for almost 60 years, John Kotan. She will be missed by both my sister Keri McCarthy-Kotan and myself Steve Kotan. By her four grandkids, Michelle and Anthony Kotan, and Krista and KJ McCarthy. By our partners Jeff Oliver and Gia Lucchetta. By all of her close friends, past colleagues, and acquaintances that had the opportunity and pleasure to meet and know her. And last, definitely not least, by her puppy, Snuggles, who carried her through the last 5 years as her companion after our Dad's passing.
A student and graduate of North Bay Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Mom worked as a secretary at North Bay Supply, while on the side baking the best butter tarts in the world for my Dad’s coffee shop, worked for Dr. Marx, Feralloy Metals in Orillia before taking a position when we returned to North Bay in 1967 with the St. Joseph’s School of Nursing, which eventually joined with Canadore College, where she remained as an Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Health Sciences until retiring after a heart attack in 1992. Affectionately named the best-dressed woman at Canadore, and not without reason. She could outshop anyone and was known by every woman’s clothing store clerk in North Bay. At Canadore, she was known to be the lady to go see when you wanted a Jube-Jube, always ready with a jar full on her desk.
Our Mom was the classiest lady I know. Never left the house without being totally put together. She was one of the best-dressed ladies in North Bay. Hair was always coiffed. Makeup to perfection. She was stubborn. Oh my god, so stubborn. When she would get an idea or want in her head, it had to be done then and now. She couldn’t keep a secret, didn’t matter how many times you told her not to tell someone. She always thought of everyone before herself. She was loved by everyone that her life touched. She was a very proud mother, proud of both of us and especially of her 4 grandkids. She was a giver without expectation of anything in return.
In the last 5 years since our Dad’s passing, she has kept busy with Snuggy, her trips out for coffee and shopping with her friends, her bi-weekly hair appointment always followed by lunch and a dessert, getting her nails done, most recently knitting up a storm making wash clothes for all of us. She stayed in her own home until her passing, our childhood home, a home that she loved. A place always filled with joy, love and laughter for the last 55 years. A happy place. She had joy in her life.
She was the greatest mom, and the "best" grandma, a dear friend to many. She loved our company but was selfless and never wanted me, my sister or our kids to ever live a smaller life just to be closer to her or with her all the time. She wanted us to live our lives and enjoy them to the fullest.
Mom will be sadly missed by all, but we are happy, hard as it is on us now, that she is finally and once again together with our Dad, Gpa, and her loving husband, as a couple again.
"Mom, listen for our “Love you”s”, they will be resounding. Please continue to keep an eye on us, as you always did and give Dad a hug for us. We will carry you in our hearts forever.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Martyn Funeral Home, 464 Wyld Street, North Bay on November 8th, 2022 from 12:00 pm-3:00 pm with some words of remembrance at 2:00 pm. Refreshments will be served throughout and we welcome everyone to stay, rejoice and celebrate her wonderful full life with us.
Donations may be made in her honour to the Heart and Stroke Foundation
Or to the North Bay Humane Society