After a courageous and dignified battle with cancer, Elmer Joy, formerly Elmer Dyck, passed away at Bethesda Regional Health Centre on Sunday morning, September 15, 2019.
He was predeceased by his parents, Jacob and Helena Dyck, and two brothers Waldemer and Harvey.
He is survived by his wife Shirley, daughters Leigh and Laine, a grandson Kieran and four brothers, Harold (Alfrieda), Bill (Rose), Arnold and Leonard.
Born in Hague, Saskatchewan, Elmer moved with his family to Steinbach in 1959 when he was still eleven. He soon established himself as a friendly classmate and went on to the local High School, where his golden tenor voice won him roles in operetta productions and his good arm a pitcher’s job on the softball diamond.
Though he took a series of jobs early in life, his passion was for Biblical Studies. He pursued this interest at Winnipeg Bible College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and McGill University, and went on to teach at Trinity Western University before serving as a dean at Regent College in Vancouver. He ended his academic career in administration at Lithuania Christian College, now LCC International University. After living for a while in Kelowna, BC, Elmer and his wife Shirley, moved back “home” to Steinbach in 2016. Here he immersed himself in the work of A Rocha and the development of its Boreal Ecology Centre in East Braintree until his unexpected illness forced him to withdraw.
Deprived of the ability to make himself clearly understood, Elmer became a familiar sight, walking for miles on local streets and roads, alone with his thoughts, but delighting also in regular stops at Coffee Culture for coffee and his favourite muffin. Too many falls and weariness led to his final hospitalization in August.
His family and friends have been deeply impressed by the good humour and grace he displayed throughout the period of his decline, often finding themselves uplifted by his big smile, the delight he took in visits and companionship and his refusal to become bitter in spite of intense frustration.
The family wish also to thank his doctors and the devoted staff at Bethesda Regional Health Centre, where he received patient and respectful care.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Crossings Funeral Care, Steinbach, and cremation has taken place. A private memorial celebration of Elmer’s life has been held.
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