1945 - 2019
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Jo-Ann (Stephania) Sobkow, of Ottawa, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 29, 2019.
Born in The Pas, Manitoba, October 18, 1945, Jo-Ann was predeceased by her parents Ann (Nahnybida) and Walter Sobkow, and her brother Sylvester. Survived by her sisters Martha (Lloyd) Harty and Caroline Eberle, all of Medicine Hat, Alberta, and nieces, nephews and grand nieces.
Jo-Ann attended Notre Dame College (Wilcox, Saskatchewan), St.Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, Nova Scotia), Carleton University (Ottawa) and the University of Ottawa. For several years, she taught elementary school in Wilcox and Gull Lake, Saskatchewan. During those early years of teaching, Jo-Ann lived in Wilcox, spending lots of time with the Carr family, and Jo-Ann and Paula Carr became close and life-long friends.
After several years of teaching, Jo-Ann moved to Ottawa to work for HRDC (at that time, Employment and Immigration Canada), specializing in occupational analysis and career development. She was one of the leaders in the development and implementation of Canada’s National Occupational Classification system; this model is still sought by and used in other countries. Jo-Ann's long and varied career in the federal government included consulting to the World Bank and CIDA, contributing to various projects in Hungary, Malaysia, Cambodia, Turkey and the Republic of Georgia, among other countries.
Jo-Ann's love for international travel extended well into her personal life, and she happily took vacations to various destinations around the world, with numerous stays in France and Mexico. She leaves behind many friends, particularly in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Jo-Ann will be remembered as a loyal friend who enjoyed lively conversation, gourmet food and French wine, and she encouraged and mentored many people’s skills in cooking. She loved the visual and performing arts, literature, music, gardening, running, hiking, and decorating. Jo-Ann loved nature, was fascinated by birds, particularly cardinals, which were attracted to her garden, and had precious pets, Nanook, Lille, Bella and Mikka.
Jo-Ann was passionate about learning and education, and she supported many people in their career development.
As a legacy, Jo-Ann requested that a bursary be established to support university education for a student in need.
At Jo-Ann’s request, there will be no funeral. Donations in her honour can be made to the Ottawa Humane Society or to the charity of your choice.
Thanks to friends, family and neighbours, and to the medical and personal care teams at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Champlain Local Health Integration Team, and the palliative care unit at Elisabeth Bruyère Hospital, for providing care and comfort to Jo-Ann.
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