With family at her bedside, Joyce I. Ezell, 88, of Anacortes, went to be with her Lord and Savior after an extended illness on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at the home of her daughter, Debra Lindbo.
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The fourth of six children, Joyce was born on January 27, 1926 in Auckland, New Zealand, the daughter of Henry and Jessie Miller.
Joyce met her husband, Bob, a sailor in the U.S. Navy, when he was stationed in New Zealand. and they were married at the Mariner's Chapel in Auckland in 1943.
Shortly afterwards, in October of 1944, she traveled across the Pacific in a military convoy with other war brides and joined her new family in Houston, Texas.
Joyce became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the late 1940's and always loved her adopted country.
Her greatest joys were her three children, Melody, Robert, and Debbie. While residing in Houston, Melody and Robert were born and in 1955 the family moved to Anacortes where Debra Lynn was born in 1957. Joyce's life revolved around her children and her grandchildren: Christy, Charla, James, Heather, Melissa, Ole, Eli, Polly, Betsy, Annie, Robert and Judea and even later, her 19 great-grandchildren.
Joyce loved people and especially people in this community. She had a heart for the homeless and the down and out; she would often see a stranger on the street and pick them up, take them out for a meal and usually give them a little money and a Bible.
Joyce was very steadfast in her Christian faith and lived her life that way, too.
She enjoyed traveling and her favorite trips were to Israel, Hawaii, and her native home New Zealand.
Joyce was an active member of the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association for many years. She loved going to the meetings, even after her husband Bob had passed away, as patriotism was very much a part of her life. Joyce especially enjoyed the Pearl Harbor picnics and would usually take a grandchild or two with her. She attended the Naval Chapel in Oak Harbor up until the beginning of her long illness and after that attended the La Conner Neighborhood Church with her family.
Joyce loved gardening and especially loved her roses and sweet peas.
A special thanks to Hospice of the Northwest and her caregivers, Janet Helm, Sherri Galvez, Yvonne Pratt, and Amanda Dennison, and also to dear friends, Tom & Pearl Jaskiewicz.
Joyce is preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband, Bob; older brother Bryan; and older sisters, Kathleen and Meryle.
Joyce is survived by her daughters and son-in-law, Melody Avey and Debbie and Ole Lindbo; son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Vickie Ezell, Jr.; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and several family members still in New Zealand, including her sister, Carol McGregor and her family; sister-in-law, Joyce Miller; nieces, Barbara Stewart and Gail; brother, Bill who lives in Australia; and numerous nieces and nephews in Texas and Wyoming.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Evans Funeral Chapel in Anacortes and also from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Friday, March 14, 2014.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, March 14, 2014 at Evans Funeral Chapel in Anacortes, followed by a reception at the chapel. A graveside service was held at Grand View Cemetery in Anacortes.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joyce's name to the La Conner Neighborhood Church, PO Box 220, La Conner, WA, 98257.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Joyce, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
Evans Funeral Chapel - Anacortes
1105 32nd Street Anacortes, WA 98221
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Mar. 8, 2014