Jo Anne Ryeburn
October 6, 1932 – March 4, 2023
Jo Anne Ryeburn passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 4, 2023, surrounded by family members. Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Jo Anne had lasting impacts on those who knew and loved her.
Jo Anne imparted a spirit of adventure on all her family members. Her young family spent many years camping and hiking together thanks to Jo Anne’s initial encouragement. Jo Anne also nurtured a desire to explore cities close and far from home. She took her children and grandchildren on frequent excursions around Vancouver and Victoria and later ventured with them to Disneyland, San Francisco, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Jo Anne wasn’t afraid to venture out on her own, and visited Japan, India, China, and New Zealand later in life.
Jo Anne had a passion for the arts which she shared with her family. Her home -- filled with looms, spinning wheels, dyeing, batiking and Japanese stamps -- was a regular meeting place for local fiber artists. We are grateful to have a lasting memory of Jo Anne through the beautiful wall hangings, woven upholstery, and knit and woven clothing that fill her home. She and her husband attended plays and chamber music concerts for many years. They enjoyed listening to classical music together until the final days of Jo Anne’s life.
After putting her career on hold to raise her children, Jo Anne returned to university to obtain her teacher’s certificate. She spent the final years of her career as an English teacher at New Westminster Secondary School, where through her patience and commitment, she won the trust of even her most reluctant students.
Jo Anne touched everyone with her kindness, teaching us the importance of the well-being of others. Moving frequently during her first years in Vancouver, Jo Anne was quick to establish friendships with new neighbours. Her home and front yard was always the gathering place for many of the neighbourhood children, who knew she would make them feel welcome. Jo Anne continued to extend this hospitality to her children’s friends throughout their adult life.
Jo Anne was an excellent cook who experimented with vegetarian cooking well before it became popular. The house was often filled with aromas of pizza or homemade bread, just a few of her specialties.
Jo Anne is survived by her husband, David Ryeburn; daughter and son-in law Susan and Andrew McIntyre; daughter and son-in-law Barbara Ryeburn and Kim Eaton; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Emily Ryeburn; and grandchildren Fiona and Alex McIntyre; Maïa, Lukas and Simon Eaton; and James, Katherine, Sarah, Daniel and Mikey Ryeburn.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Society, which supported Jo Anne and family members her final years of life.