Audrey B. Charles (nee Joy), nicknamed, The Girl With The Big Hair, Joybells, and Audrey B. Joyful, at the age of 98, entered eternal life on Friday, February 4, 2022 and arrived safely in the arms of Jesus.
She grew up in Summerland, and as a young woman she decided to go to Normal School (the term “Normal” being a great source of entertainment through the years). The school was in Vancouver and the best way (perhaps only way) to get there was by train, so she packed her bag and stood on the side of the tracks and flagged down the train. When she got to Vancouver her brother picked her up from the train station and was driving her home. There was one light in downtown Vancouver. When he stopped the car, she asked, “What’s that red light up there and why are you stopping?” She taught primary school, saying she never graduated from kindergarten. She disliked poor grammar. She expected good manners.
She could cook, sometimes with spectacular results, a literal blowout you might say, when one time she was cooking with a pressure cooker, the lid blew off and hit the ceiling, spraying the contents throughout her apartment.
She would laugh uncontrollably at benign absurdity, particularly at her own jokes, which could happen at the most inconvenient of times. Quite some time ago there was a Christmas concert at church with a rather forlorn donkey. A quip was made, a glance exchanged, and the giggles started. The pew started to shake and as she tried to stifle the giggles they popped out as little snorts and tears rolled down her cheeks. Not being able to collect herself she slipped out of her pew, not to be seen again until the concert was over.
Despite having dementia in her later years she was truly a Joy. She may not have recognized anyone, but she could still crack a joke and recite poetry. She carried humour throughout her life and dispensed it freely. More recently if you showed up for a visit and removed a small article of clothing such as a toque or mittens, she would slowly and quietly start putting them on. Not because she intended to go anywhere but simply because it was fun. One day we asked her how she was doing. Without a word she kicked one foot out and then the other, and, once again, laughed at her own joke.
She stood firm in her beliefs, but was nonjudgmental. She never swore. Ever. Her way of voicing irritation varied from “oh bother” and “oh help us” to “oh dear.” She was gentle with a side of feisty. She was private but open. She chose peace over being right.
We miss you terribly.
Thank you to the incredible team at Westview Place for your love, care and compassion for Audrey in her life and in her passing. We are forever grateful. Thank you to Pastor Jeremy Bates of Bethel Tabernacle for your kindness and coming to pray. And thank you to all family and friends for the virtual hugs and outpouring of love. We feel it.
If you would like to make a donation in her honour, we suggest The Boys and Girls Club Okanagan https://www.bgco.ca/club-location/south-okanagan/penticton/
A small service will follow when the time is right.
Audrey B. Joyful was a woman of God, and a woman of science. She believed in miracles, but she also believed in medicine. She held it is possible to believe both.
For Audrey, #OhBotherCovid.
To send flowers to Audrey's family, please visit our floral store.