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JOHANNE MARIE PIERRETTE ANFOSSI McINERNEY

Johanne was born to Charles and Lilianne Anfossi (née Béchard) on Oct. 15, 1957 in Montreal. She was the youngest of seven.

The Anfossi family lived mostly in Montreal, and Johanne graduated from CÉGEP at Vanier College in 1974 before moving to Gillam, Man.

Johanne met the love of her life, Michael McInerney, in Spanish class at the University of Manitoba in 1978.

She moved to Calgary in 1979 and their romance began in earnest in 1981, with no sign of slowing any time since. They were married on July 16, 1983.

The newlyweds moved from Calgary to Montreal, where their first child, Shauna, was born in Oct. 1984.

Mike was studying at Concordia University, and they appreciated the warm, welcoming support of Johanne's parents and siblings.

In 1985, the McInerneys moved to Geraldton, Ont., where Papa taught music and French Immersion.

They had two more children, Ryan in June 1987 and James in April 1991, and Maman found great joy in nurturing their young family, participating in the Faith Chapel community, and fishing from Second Bridge on Lake Kenogamisis.

The McInerneys moved to Rainy River, Ont., in 1992, where Dad continued to teach music and French until his retirement. It was here that Mom found her long-term passion working with small children in speech and language as a communication assistant at Huffman, Robert Moore, Sturgeon Creek, and Riverview Schools over two decades.

She was also active in the Rainy River Evangelical Covenant Church family, teaching Sunday School there for roughly 25 years.

Ever the patient, kind, selfless, strong mother that she was, Mom treasured her own kids and valued watching us develop in unique ways. She had a penchant for suddenly breaking out into song, often including comically incomplete lyrics or her own absurd substitutions. She loved to laugh, and to make others laugh.

Through into her later years, Mom continued to enjoy the outdoors, including camping at Caliper Lake and applying her mysterious “special touch” to fishing and icefishing on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods.

She spent many summer weekends from 2008-2013 working with Dad in the kitchen at Reel-Em-Inn Lodge, and liked to play tennis and golf with him too.

From the time grandchildren first began to appear in 2008, Mom enthusiastically embraced the role of Grandmama, seldom neglecting to mention her slogan: “We do house calls!”

Beginning in Feb. 2014, Mom devotedly and uncomplainingly helped Dad defeat stage IV throat cancer.

Just four years later, in Feb. 2018, she herself was diagnosed with leukemia, and underwent a successful bone marrow transplant that May, from which she seemed to make a full recovery.

After learning “how to retire” during the following year of recuperation, Mom returned to her role as communication assistant in Sept. 2019 before having to fight a second, brief battle with leukemia beginning in mid-November.

Surrounded by her immediate family, Mom was held, sung, and loved through her final breaths on Dec. 4 2019. Uttered just moments before her passing, her last words were, “I love you. I love you so much.”

Johanne is predeceased by her parents, Charles and Lilianne; and her siblings, Pierre, Rolande, Roland (a.k.a. Tom), Lise, and Carol.

She is survived by her husband, Michael; her children, Shauna (Josh) Overgaard, Ryan (Sarah), and James; her granddaughters, Isabella, Geneviève, and Élise Overgaard; her grandsons, Atlas and André McInerney; her brother, Michel (Louise); and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Maman/Mom/Jo-Jo/Grandmama, you will continue to live in our hearts now and always.

We love you. We love you so much.