Joan Elizabeth Groothuysen

9/6/1957 - 5/7/2018

Obituary Overview

Joan Elizabeth Groothuysen


Ottawa, September 6, 1957 – Edmonton, May 7, 2018

Joan was an Olympian, in achievement and in spirit. She was a world-class Nordic skier who represented Canada at Innsbruck (1976), Lake Placid (1980), and at numerous World Cups and World Championships. But she defined herself through her relationships, lovingly. She trained, competed and took on the many challenges in her life with unyielding determination. But she was gentle and gracious with loved ones and casual friends alike.

She embodied the Olympic motto – “faster, higher, stronger” – but rarely talked about her brilliant athletic career. She excelled at everything else she did too: orthodontic technician, home renovator and seamstress, textile and jewelry artisan. But she made everyone around her feel better about themselves. She was quiet, and somewhat private, but shared of herself willingly and was loved and admired by many.

Cancer took her down hard and fast, even though she lived a simple and healthy life. She suffered, but continued bravely, striving each day to the end to be a better person. If you’re ever on the trails around Edmonton, and you see a “train” of skiers pushing hard, think of Joan, because they’re chasing her spirit. She was an Olympian!

Join her loving community to celebrate her amazing life, Monday, May 14, 3:00 pm South Side Memorial Chapel, 8310-104 St., Edmonton

Funeral Details

  • Celebration of Life

    South Side Memorial Chapel

    Event Times

    5/14/2018 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

More Details & Directions

Posted by Scott Rogers | 5/19/2018

Joan was a beautiful and inspiring athlete, but more importantly she was a kind and gentle person with a fun personality. The world's not the same without her.

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Posted by Trice Cameron | 5/16/2018

I knew Joan from cross country skiing many a long year ago. Her focus and determination were what helped her make Olympic and World Championship Teams. While she was quiet she had a strong inner spirit that I admired. She will be missed.

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