Sunwest Funeral Home - Cemetery - Crematory
12525 NW Grand Ave
El Mirage, AZ 85335
(623) 974-2054
More Obituaries for Joyce Ridge
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Joyce Ridge

Obituary Condolences

Joyce Ridge Obituary
Ridge, Joyce
of Phoenix, died Jan. 5, 2013 in Sun City. A native of Cullompton,, Devon, England, Joyce lived a full life dedicated to helping others, starting at London's National Children's Homes from 1953-1962. After two years as a governess in New York, Joyce moved to Phoenix in 1964 where she became known as a tireless advocate for children and adults with disabilities. From 1964 to 1977, Joyce worked at Upward Foundation, serving as executive director, 1975-77. From 1981-84, Joyce was program and community relations director for Bethany Ranch Home. In '84, Joyce became executive director of Lura Turner Homes for Developmentally Disabled Adults, retiring in 2003. In 1999, she created a famed High Tea, which to date has raised over $400,000 for Lura Turner Homes. Joyce's education reflected her passion for learning and service. In 1956, she earned the British Home Office Certificate in Residential Childcare. By 1974, she received an MA in Special Education at Arizona State University, where she taught the televised class, "Early Childhood Development," 1979-81. Arizona's Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities, Phoenix's ARC, the Governor's Task Force for Rehabilitation Services, Handicapped Village, Madison Baptist Preschool and local and regional Civitan organizations are just a few of the social service agencies and causes benefiting from Joyce's 45 years of dedicated volunteerism. Joyce's countless awards range from Arizona's Outstanding Special Ed Teacher (1975) to ARC's May Kizer Service Award (1987) to The 12 Who Care Hon Kachina Award (1994). In 2003, the Phoenix Mayor's Commission on Disability Issues honored Joyce with the Don Aldrich Advocacy Award. Under Joyce's inspired leadership, the first Civitan club in the world run by developmentally disabled adults was founded in 1979. Named the Phoenix Bird Civitan Club, it continues to enrich the lives of Phoenix men and women with special needs. In 2009, the Phoenix assisted living facility created by Joyce in 1989 was renamed in her honor to the Joyce Ridge Civitan House. In 2010, Joyce's life-time leadership in Civitan was recognized when she was named a "Civitan Fellow" by Civitans' International Research Center in Alabama. Joyce accomplished all the above - and much, much more - while living with the crippling effects of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Her British-bred "carry on" attitude was an inspiration to all who knew her. Joyce was predeceased by parents Cecil and Beatrice and brother Ronald. She's survived by brothers Stanley (Joyce), Gilbert (Muriel) and their families in England. In the States, Joyce is survived by sister-in-law Nola, niece Barbara, nephew Mike (Jaymie) and children Matthew, Sarah and Travis; niece and nephew Krista and David and children Abigail, Adam, Christopher, David, Michael and Randi. Great-great niece Kyra and goddaughter Christine Brooks also survive "Auntie Joyce." A memorial service will be held for Joyce, 11 a.m., Sat. Jan. 12 at Madison Baptist Church, 6202 N. 12th Street, Phoenix. Visitation is 1 to 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10 at Sunwest Funeral Home, 12525 NW Grand Avenue, Surprise. The family asks the memorial gifts be sent in Joyce's memory to Lura Turner Homes, Att: Max McQueen, 1432 N. 27th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, 85009. Condolences can be sent to the family at

Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 10, 2013
Read More
More Information