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Joy Kimball      1929-2024

Joy Kimball (previously Joy Smith) nee Verna Joy Agar, passed away in Canmore, Alberta on May 07.  Joy was a true mountain woman, operating the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse at Lake Louise for over 45 years. Plain of Six is a back country café with no electricity nor road service and a mountain spring that now serves up to 700 guests a day.  When Joy first started, there were overnight guests and things were little quieter; she raised her two daughters from infancy while baking hundreds of biscuits, cakes, homemade bread and soup, assisting climbers, chopping firewood, watching avalanches, warding off wolverines and greeting guests. Her hospitality touched thousands from around the world, most notably those who had the experience of a summer of two living and working  off-grid at the teahouse.

Joy was a small woman with an abundance of energy, a very strong drive and wry humor.  Born in 1929 to a farming family of 7 kids (she was #5) in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba during the Depression, Joy and her family were of tough stock.  Joy knew of someone who had moved to Calgary to work for an oil company and eventually made her way there, finding the Rockies and her true home (and that of her daughters). She travelled the world and lived in Calgary, Banff, Idaho Falls, and Canmore – always returning to Lake Louise and the Teahouse in the summer.

Joy’s parents were Elizabeth Patterson and Amos Agar. She was predeceased by her brothers: Les (Pat), Bob (Arlene), Elgin, and her sisters: Dorothy Morin (Jim) and Evelyn Thorvaldsen (Floyd). Joy is survived by her daughters Susanne and Shauna (Byron Holt and grandson Davis Gillies-Holt) and sister Eileen Shoemaker (Cal), half sister Lorraine Agar Huntley as well as many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held at Susanne’s house in Banff from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 8, 2024. If any questions, please email or text Shauna [email protected]  (617-548-6992). In lieu of flowers please consider hiking up to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse to “Celebrate Joy” this summer (or next) ! 

Be well with love !

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