I have known Mrs. Park since I was 11 years old and I would consider myself a part of the Park family since I was 15 years old when I became best friends with their daughter Heather. I spent many days at their house and considered it my second home. Mr. and Mrs. Park always made me feel welcomed and I certainly enjoyed Mrs. Park's cooking. To this day I still cook my roast the way she taught me.
I have always had the utmost respect and admiration for Mrs. Park. She would tell me of the things she had done and so many of them before she got married. The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Park was always one that I hope to have with my husband. I loved that they travelled to so many places and enjoyed immersing themselves in different cultures. She loved telling their stories. Joyce had such an infectious zest for life. Of course Mrs. Park was never afraid to voice her opinion. It may have been a little hard to swallow at times but I have always respected that she knew who she was and didn't back away from it. I always knew that she loved me and was always very supportive of me. There was never a lack of a smile when I would see her and her smile is one that I will always remember.
I truly believe that our lives are defined in moments and it is a moment that I was privileged to witness that I would like to share. When Heather and I were seniors in high school, Fair Oaks Mall held their first Fashion Panel contest. They advertised it as being models for their mall (only later to find out it was more about free labor than modeling). Heather and I thought it was a fantastic idea to be models. We both tried out. 150 people applied and all were interviewed and the number was cut down to 50. From the 50, they would choose 25 after we all participated in a big fashion show at the mall. It was exciting, scary, and a lot of fun. Many had family in the audience to include my mom and Mrs. Park. After the show, the top 25 were named by alphabetical order. I was called first. When it came to the P's, we waited and Heather's name was called out. I glanced over at Joyce and it was in that moment I saw so much joy and so much love of a mother to her daughter. It was a moment I wish I could have captured. If Mrs. Park could have told everyone in Fair Oaks that was her daughter she would have. It is something I want Heather to know: that her mom loved her more than anything. The greatest gift Mrs. Park gave to me was her beautiful daughter that I can call my best friend for 32 years.
In late April, 2013 Darlene Spargo wrote: We were heartsick to hear about Joyce. I can't imagine this world without Joyce in it: she was so full of life and just plain fun. I loved Joyce the minute I met her in Sleepy Eye. What a privilege to have known her! She was unique and we will never forget our wonderful visit with you two. We have you and your family in our prayers and Joyce in our heart.
Darlene and Jim
In late April, 2013 niece Sue wrote: Joyce was a gift to all of us! I have wonderful memories of time spent with her. I will never forget her deep laughter, love of children, ability to cook, and her passion for you, her family. She was beautiful, inside and out, and oh so smart. My life has been enriched by having her love me!
Love, Sue and Bob.
In late April, 2013 Brenda Irvine wrote: We are saddened to hear about the passing of Mrs.Park. We will cherish our memories of our times spent with you both on your many visits to Florida ... and of course from when my mom and dad lived behind you in Annandale.
Our hearts go out to you and your family - we offer our sincere and deepest condolences.
Kindest Regards, Brenda Irvine and Ron Cameron
On April 22,2013 Lois Irvine wrote: Dear David, I've been thinking of you in this time of sorrow and can imagine how weary and stressed everyone is. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
I have many happy memories oy our Washington posting made all the more special by knowing the Park family. Always there for a Canadian neighbor to help in any way you could.
Joyce was always eager to assist by swapping great recipies and food tips; sewing suggestions; tour guide ect. The greatest gift of all was her friendship - given with love and a smile.
I hope the days ahead will lighten the load of heavy hearts.
God Bless- With hugs and sincere sympathy.