Skip to content


  1. Sandra Lynne Janzen

    When she was TA at U of A, I had the privilege of being in her class.. She invested herself in the works we were studying and we couldn’t help invest in them too. It is no surprise she went on to be awarded for her work. She was unforgettable, gentle, patient and thorough and wise. My condolences to all who knew her.

  2. Dave Armour

    I am late to learn of Joanna’s death. It was noted, in her eulogy, what a fine teacher she was. To this, I can attest. I was her pupil in the mid-seventies at Erindale, studying Anglo-Saxon language and literature, as well as her famous (and crowded) half-course in children’s literature. My friends and I gave enthusiastic testimonials to support her OCUFA nomination. Since my school days, Joanna and I have shared a number of conversations and emails, even as late as last fall. To this day, any conversation which leads us to talk of our best teachers, the first face which comes to my mind is Joanna’s. We knew little of her life in Alberta, though we knew that for her it was home. It’s gratifying to see that she was as loved and cherished there as she was honoured and admired among us. My condolences to her family and my sincere affection and regard for Professor Dutka.

  3. Chris Wernham

    JoAnna lived two doors from us in Etobicoke in the 90s. We didn’t meet until she rang our doorbell to deliver some mail that mistakenly ended up at her place. She learned on that occasion that my wife was also a student of the Middle Ages and that we were the other neighborhood opera fans. Years later, we took courses from JoAnna at St. Michael’s College, Toronto and enjoyed several lunches in her company. She was a very fine person and this world needs many more JoAnnas.

  4. Anne Lancashire

    JoAnna was a quiet, good friend to so many people. I count myself fortunate to have known her and to have worked with her as a colleague and as a friend. I apologize for the delay in posting this comment; I was out of town for most of January and not regularly on email.

  5. Helen Ostovich

    Dear JoAnnna, rest in peace. You are a cherished friend who will always be in my heart as you have been in the nearly 40 years I’ve known you. You have been brave and no-nonsense, and now your pain is over. Enjoy what’s next.

  6. Gail Lynch

    JoAnna was my friend for almost 50 years. She would come to my pottery studio in Toronto to watch me work. I once helped her move into a new place to live. After I moved to California we remained friends, and would exchange emails and finally at her suggestion we began talking on the phone once a week, which we did for several years until her health prevented her. JoAnna was a brilliant scholar, a beloved professor, chosen teacher of the year, a musician who played her own harpsichord, and a thoughtful, warmhearted. generous. woman.
    JoAnna was a light in my life. I believe that the light that came from within in her is now within all of us who knew and loved her. My deepest condolences to her many other friends and her family.

  7. Judith Poe

    To a cherished colleague, rest in Peace, JoAnna.

  8. Sally-Beth MacLean

    Rest In Peace, JoAnna.

  9. Richard Bushop

    I will always retain fond memories of our time together exploring ideas, attending events , sharing meals and laughing a great deal.

  10. Joan Tapuska

    JoAnna Dutka was my godmother. Our families were friends in Canmore in the 1940s and they remained lifelong friends. I became better acquainted with JoAnna when I retired. I spent more time visiting Canmore with my parents and JoAnna would often join us for a lovely lunch and chat. She was a superb conversationalist and historian. She had a wonderful sense of humour, it was always fun to get together with JoAnna. I feel privileged to have known her. She was a remarkable person who lived a remarkable life! My most heartfelt condolences to the family.
    Sincerely, Joan Tapuska, Wallace, Nova Scotia

  11. Claire (Tapuska)Jonsson

    My mother, Liz Tapuska was JoAnna’s godmother. JoAnna was my eldest sister, Joan’s godmother. JoAnna would often visit my parents at their cabin on 5th Street when she returned to Canmore each summer. The last time we met was in July 2020 when brother Peter and I told JoAnna about mom’s passing. JoAnna came to the cabin for a lovely “outside social distance” visit with us. I was saddened to hear of JoAnna’s passing, I extend my thoughts and prayers to the family.

  12. Mary Frances Coady

    I was a friend of Mary Nan’s, and my sister, Pat, was a long-time friend and university room-mate of JoAnna (or “Joanne” as we knew her). On behalf of both of us, I extend condolences to her family. May she rest in peace.