JOANNE LEE SUTTON"Jojo" It is with profound sadness that the family of Joanne Sutton announces her passing Sunday March 7, 2021 in hospital in White Rock, BC. Predeceased by mother, Orysia Bilous, father, Harry James and sister-in-law, Cheryl. She is survived by her loving husband Wesley (Ted) Bell, her brothers, Derek (Marilyn), David and Douglas (Chris), and her sister Sharon (Michael). Joanne was the proud stepmother to Angie (Dan) and Ken (Shanon), adored grand-stepmother to Maxx, Maggie and Paisley, beloved aunt, great-aunt and cousin and good friend to many. Born on Feb. 20, 1961 in Scarborough, Ont., Joanne grew up and graduated high school in Beaconsfield, Que. She was a skilled lifeguard, coach, competitive diver, soccer player and skier. Eager to travel, she moved West in 1979 to work the ski mountains of Banff, then Kelowna, becoming "The Queen of Curve." Friendships there lured her to Whitehorse in 1982, where she started a career in broadcasting, working at CHON FM and Northern Native Broadcasting as a newscaster. Later, she was drawn to B.C., where she solidified her career by graduating from BCIT's Radio Broadcast Program in the class of 1984. Joanne became a mainstay through the 90's in country music, distinguishing herself as a well-loved personality in both radio and live events. She joined the popular JR Country 93.7 FM as a show host and community events reporter. Later, she was part of the team at 97 KISS FM/CKWX and News 1130, as part-time co-host of the Latremouille show and as the "eye in the sky" helicopter traffic reporter - where she met her husband, Ted, and they married in 2000. Joanne also worked at Z95.3, LG 104.3 and CISL 650. Her sideline was "The Little Fruit Pie Company,"and her delicious and sought-after pies became available at local farm markets throughout the Lower Mainland. Joanne was passionate about her causes. In 2000, she climbed Mt Kilimanjaro as part of the Ascent for Alzheimer's team, raising over a quarter of a million dollars for research. She was an intricate part of a team that ran a half marathon in Reykjavik for Team Diabetes in 2004. Over the decades, she hosted, emceed, produced, organized and judged countless events, including BC Country Music Awards, fundraisers for the BC Guide Dogs, and numerous live concerts. In 2019, she was inducted into the BC Country Music Hall of Fame for her tireless contributions and dedication to showcasing upcoming local talent. Joanne was multi-talented and squeezed every ounce out of life that she could. She was always willing to lend a hand, emcee, or roll up her sleeves behind the scenes. An event planner, baker extraordinaire, sympathetic friend and selfless volunteer with endless energy. Beautiful inside and out, Joanne radiated joy with a smile you won't forget. Her tremendous imprint on all who were lucky enough to meet her is everlasting. Joanne touched many with her generosity and passion for life. She is deeply missed, and her exemplary life will forever be cherished by those who knew her. In lieu of flowers, Joanne would have asked that you donate and/or volunteer to BC Cancer Foundation, Alzheimer Society of BC, or BC Guide Dog Services. Family and friends will observe a celebration of life at a later date.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Mar. 20 to Mar. 24, 2021.