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Phyllis Barbara Jean (Parsons) Giovannetti

July 22, 1940 ~ April 28, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old


Our brilliant, loving Phyllis Barbara Jean Giovannetti (Parsons) was larger than life and happily shared her love of chocolate, humor, and energy with all who had the pleasure of knowing her, working with her, and loving her. She left her earthly body on April 28, 2023.

Her big heart brought together students, friends, and family. She commanded and held an audience to share her passion for opera, nursing, and research. She loved to entertain, made strangers feel at home, and brought laughter and fun to any gathering, endearing herself to all. She loved skiing and kayaking the west coast and was an avid bird watcher.

Born in 1940, she grew up in Calgary in a close-knit family. She trained as a nurse and received her BN from McGill University and her ScD from Johns Hopkins University in 1981. After 7 years in Baltimore, the family packed up and headed to Edmonton, where she joined the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, became a full professor in 1988, and enjoyed a lifelong career in nursing as a professor, associate dean, president of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses, and president of the Canadian Nursing Research Interest Group.

Her quick wit, clever repartee, keen intelligence, generosity, compassion, love of music, and commitment to social justice led to many contributions. Her leadership helped develop the University of Alberta’s Masters and PhD in Nursing programs, which has led to a legacy through the work of her graduate students. Her research focused on cooperation, collaboration, and nurses to improve patient-centered care, healthcare promotion, and the advancement of nursing.

Her work led to many achievements and awards, including the Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health Distinguished Alumnus Award, Woman of the Year in Health, Science, and Technology from the Edmonton YWCA, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AARN. Retirement didn't stop her; she poured her spirit and determination into teaching Opera Appreciation, Restorative justice programs, and consulting work.  

She is dearly missed by her partner of 48 years, Joyce Relyea, her daughter, Bonnie Giovannetti, and her brother Don Parsons to whom she sent a gift each Christmas explaining that if he guessed what it was, she would give him one million dollars. She is remembered and loved by her niece, Sheryl Adley (Rob), Robert Parson (Jen), and Kevin Parsons (Kim), all their children, cousins, and her grandson, Zac.

Phyllis was predeceased by parents, Grace Cowen and Victor Parsons, and twin daughter Karen.

To all of us, she will always be the woman of the year. Love you, Mom, Bonnie Giovannetti

To honor and remember Phyllis, eat chocolate, drink Scotch and practice random acts of kindness. She will be there.

Please join us for mom’s funeral service Saturday May 27, 2023, at 1330 PST at Comox United Church in person or online






Celebration of Life
May 27, 2023

1:30 AM
Comox United Church


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