Amherstburg police mourn loss of Sr. Const. Joan Lovell

 

Officers with the Amherstburg Police Service and other  municipal forces salute as part of the funeral of Sr. Const. Joan Lovell last Saturday morning.

Officers with the Amherstburg Police Service and other
municipal forces salute as part of the funeral of Sr. Const. Joan Lovell last Saturday morning.

Amherstburg Police Sr. Const. Joan Lovell died July 29 at the age of 59.

Amherstburg Police Sr. Const. Joan Lovell died July 29 at the age of 59.

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg police are mourning the loss of one of their own after Sr. Const. Joan Lovell passed away July 29.

Lovell died of leukemia at the age of 59, only months after she had returned to work after a bout with breast cancer. Lovell had been with the Amherstburg Police Service since 1999, after stints in Tilbury and Chatham-Kent (1993-99) and Windsor (1976-79). In between, she worked in security with Boblo Island Amusement Park for 12 years where she worked her way up to being head of security.

During her 15 years in Amherstburg, Lovell spent over a decade as the community services officer and also served for a time as the media relations officer. Chief Tim Berthiaume commented that Lovell was the face of the police department for many.

“Joan was a tremendous person,” said Berthiaume. “She was a dedicated police officer, a loving wife, mother and sister. She had a passion for her community, a passion for youth in the community and a willingness to take on new tasks.”

Berthiaume noted Lovell delivered the Values, Influences and Peers (VIP) program to hundreds of youth in Amherstburg and was so committed to the program, she became an instructor to other officers that delivered the program as well. Lovell also delivered first aid programs to many people in the community as well, he added.

“Joan was an important part of the Amherstburg Police Service. She will be sadly missed but she will never be forgotten,” the chief stated. “We loved her. She was such a good person. She was good hearted, a good worker and loved being a police officer.”

When Lovell first joined the Amherstburg Police Service in 1999, Berthiaume recalled working on the same shift as her. When Lovell and her husband Cliff went to Mexico on vacation, he said she returned with souvenirs for the entire platoon.

“She would often talk of her family, her children and her sisters,” said Berthiaume. “I quickly learned they were the love of her life, every one of them. She loved her kids (Heathyr, Michael and James and James’ wife Shawntelle) and she was proud of them. She adored her husband Cliff. Everyone else called him Cliff except for her; she called him Clifford.”

Berthiaume pointed out that Lovell was due to become a grandmother in the next month or so.

“Joan was excited when she received the news she was going to have a grandchild,” said Berthiaume. “She often talked about how excited she was to have a grandson or granddaughter.”

Cliff Lovell said his wife was involved in many community events and festivals, as well. He pointed out they were married Aug. 13, 1977 at Paulin Memorial Church in Windsor with the reception being at their Park Ave. home where they lived ever since.

“She was an elder in her church,” he added.

Cliff noted that Joan had been with Tilbury police and served only a few months when that service was amalgamated with Chatham-Kent when Amherstburg police were looking for a new officer. She fit the bill of what Amherstburg police was looking for at the time, he said, with her being moved into the community services role a few years later under then-Chief Brian Bird.

Sandee Elliott, one of Lovell’s sisters, said she loved going into schools and educating children.

“She was down to Earth. She only cared about giving to everyone else,” said Elliott. “Family mattered to her as well. She wanted to see families whole and functioning.”

Her family recalled Lovell’s love of Christmas as well as her enjoyment of fishing, though Cliff jokes, “as long as it wasn’t too long.”

Christine McLaughlin, another of Lovell’s sisters, said they couldn’t go anywhere without someone coming up to Joan and remarking about how they were taught by her.

“If Joanie were here, she’d be appreciative of the outpouring of support we’ve received as a family,” added Elliott. “There will be no one to fill her shoes. No one could.”

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