Cournoyea, Joe

Joe Cournoyea was born in the Tweed, Ontario in the early 1920s.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, in a large family in a rural area of eastern Ontario.  While four of his older brothers served in the Second World War, Joe and the younger children worked the family farm, though Joe set out on his own at an early age, working with a local tanner.  Too young to serve in that war, Joe followed his family’s military tradition and went to Korea and Germany when his military career began.  He served as part of Canada’s peacekeeping missions in those places in the 1950s and 60s.  When his service concluded, Joe returned to Canada and built a life for himself, working in the civil service, where he recalled his time as a driver for both John Diefenbaker and Lester B. Pearson.

We met Joe at the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing in July 2017, when he was interviewed by Crestwood students Arielle Meyer and Samara Black.