Joyce Elaine Slingsby spent the last days of her life basking in the love of her family. She passed away Wednesday, August 6, 2014 from complications of congestive heart failure at Spring Meadows Assisted Living surrounded by her family.
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Joyce was born February 4, 1926 in Berthold, N.D., the second of three children to John and Lena (Jordheim) Smith. As a teenager, Joyce and her family moved to Jamestown, N.D., where her father was a dentist.
After graduation from high school Joyce attended college in Fargo, N.D. where she met Ira Slingsby on a blind date, after admiring his debonair handsome WWII military photo in his leather head gear and scarf on her roommate's wall, who was coincidently his cousin. Joyce was a cheerleader and Ira was a football player. During their courtship they discovered their fathers actually knew each other in dental school.
Joyce and Ira were united in marriage on June 23, 1947 in Jamestown, N.D. They spent 3 years in Missoula while Ira finished his degree in Business Administration and Joyce enjoyed being a new mom.
Ira was a North Dakota Air National Guardsman and was called into active service during the Korean War. While stationed in Victorville, Calif., Joyce blessed Ira with his only son on Father's Day while Ira was deployed.
In 1953 Joyce, Ira and family moved to Clinton, Mont., where they owned and operated the Clinton Mercantile.
In 1956 Joyce and family moved to Atlanta, Ga., when Ira accepted a pilot position with Eastern Airlines. She kept the home fires burning by caring for her growing family of three children.
In 1959, the family was transferred to Chicago, Ill., where they also owned and operated a farm in Minooka. Joyce enjoyed gardening, canning, antiquing and discovered her lifelong passion of quilting. She loved finding antiques and restoring them. She converted a 1890s Victorian house on the farm into a stately, warm, loving and beautiful home, while completing their family with a beautiful baby girl.
In 1975 Joyce and her family moved to Bozeman. She owned the Dollhouse Store from 1979 to 1984, following a love of dollhouse miniatures. Joyce gave back to our community in many ways. She and her family saw a need for a fire department in their community and so established the RAE Volunteer Fire Department. They donated the first fire truck to this fire department. She helped Ira create and organize Big Sky Airlines. She was a volunteer candy striper at the hospital and worked as an election judge for many years.
She rather reminded us of the energizer bunny! Joyce was a great cook (especially taco soup) and had numerous hobbies, scrapbooking, crocheting, knitting, sewing, cross-stitch, needlepoint, card making, doll making, red work, refinishing antique furniture and ceramics. Joyce had a miniature dollhouse booth at many state fairs. She also dabbled in oil painting and most of all her passion--quilting. We often wonder when she slept.
Joyce lived a full and blessed life; a life she lived for others. She was a devoted nurturing wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She always believed her glass was half full and in her wine glass "only give me two fingers"
She was a class act, especially in her final preparations for her journey to her heavenly home.
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ira and sister Gayle.
Survivors include her four children, Mary Ann (Steve) Thorsen of Bozeman, Ira William "Bill" Slingsby of Manhattan, Gayle Guiragossian of Truckee, Calif., and Beth (Glenn) Bridendolph of Reno, Nev.; 10 grandchildren Stephanie (Lonnie) Bos, Jeff (Samantha) Thorsen, Brianne, Kelsi and Ira Slingsby all of Bozeman, Riley and Miles Guiragossian of both of Truckee, Calif., Justin, Joshua and Jennifer Bridendolph all of Reno, Nev.; three great-grandchildren Jessica, Hudson, and Abby Bos all of Bozeman. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews and cherished friends.
A celebration of Joyce's extraordinary life is planned for Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Interment to follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery (adjacent to Lindley Park).
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Dr. John Robbins, Hospice of Southwest Montana, The Staff at Spring Meadows, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, her Wild and Crazy Quilters, that kept her young, and all the friends and neighbors that visited and supported Joyce and family during the final chapter in her journey.
Memorials may be made in Joyce's name to: Hospice, c/o of the Bozeman Deaconess Foundation, 931 Highland Blvd, Suite 3200, Bozeman, MT 59715 or Heart of the Valley Humane Society, 1549 E Cameron Bridge Rd, Bozeman, MT 59714.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Aug. 10, 2014