Jo Anne Pauling passed away on December 20, 2018.
In 1932, she was born in Great Falls, Montana, since it had the closest hospital to the small town of Stanford, where her parents, Gus and Mid Russell, and brother Spen lived at the time. A few years later, the family moved to another small town, Moore, which she remembered fondly. In her teens, the family moved to Helena. Her high school senior year was a memorable one: she was voted homecoming queen, and in that role, she was selected by Montana’s Governor to fly to Chicago, accompanied by a real live bear cub, to represent her native state at the premiere of the Errol Flynn movie “Montana”. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the University of Montana in Missoula, where she was noticed in a cafeteria lineup by George Pauling, a Canadian who was finishing his geology education. He was instantly smitten, and they married the following year - he often called that “the best thing I ever did”. After a brief stint in Regina, the new couple settled in Calgary. There she raised their children, showed her talent in various arts and crafts, enjoyed book clubs, and led exercise classes at the nearby YMCA. In the early 1980’s, she and George were transferred to Texas, where they enjoyed making new friends and exploring a new part of the world. When they returned to Calgary, Jo Anne became an active member of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, and was a driving force in the official naming and improvement of McHugh Bluff. In their later years, she and George enjoyed spending time at their vacation home near Flathead Lake. In her final months, inspired by the title of a favourite song, she often said “my life’s been grand”. She was a gracious, patient, witty, wise and loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Jo Anne will be missed by her daughter, Vicki Skopyk (Jim) and son, Greg Pauling (Linda); grandchildren, Jay Skopyk (Kirsten), Shila Dueck (Tom), Bess and Maddie Pauling; and great-grandchildren, Katrianne and Nikolas Skopyk and Xavier Dueck.
She was predeceased by her husband, George; daughter, Cheryl; and brother, Spen.
The family thanks the staff at Staywell Manor and Unit 72 at the Rockyview General Hospital for the care and kindness they provided. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Calgary Health Trust. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.