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Joyce Sorensen Graham

Joyce Sorensen Graham Obituary
1930 ~ 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah-Joyce Sorensen Graham, our loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend passed away on May 25, 2013. Nearly forty years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer. The radiation therapy eliminated the cancer, but left her with challenging health problems. In spite of the problems, she persevered and remained positive and active. Joyce was born on July 16, 1930 in Salina, Utah to Nels A. and Gladys Christensen Sorensen. The family home was in Mayfield, Utah where her father was a farmer and rancher. Joyce learned the value of hard work by helping with the farm work and chickens. At an early age, music became one of Joyce's passions. She worked hard to develop her piano skills, practicing hours a day. The first eight years of Joyce's schooling were in Mayfield, followed by high school in Manti. She was an excellent student, was involved in many school activities and was selected as Prom Mistress. Her principal wrote, "Dear, pleasant, agreeable, capable, lovely, Joyce. How nice to have had you in our school." In 1948, she enrolled at Snow College where she was the pianist for many musical performances. A popular student, she was voted "Personality Plus." There she met her future husband and love of her life, Robert Graham. Upon the completion of Robert's LDS mission and Joyce's graduation from BYU, the two were married in the Manti Temple on April 17, 1953. Four months after their marriage, Robert was drafted into the Army. Joyce remained in Provo to teach school. After a separation of nine months, they were reunited in Washington where Robert was stationed at Ft. Lewis. Following Army service, they returned to Utah for several years. During this time, Joyce again taught school while Robert furthered his education. In 1960, the family moved to the San Francisco area for ten years where they developed many lasting friendships. Joyce used her musical talents to teach piano lessons to a number of students. In 1970, the family returned to Utah in order to be closer to their extended families. Since returning, Joyce played in tennis and bowling leagues, both of which she enjoyed very much. A wonderful seamstress, she loved to sew for her daughters and grandchildren. She also liked to spend time creating beautiful craft items for her home, particularly holiday decorations. Throughout her life, Joyce was a faithful member of the LDS Church. She served in stake and ward Relief Society presidencies, Junior Sunday School and as stake and ward organist and pianist. She also volunteered in the community, particularly enjoying her work with Utah Youth Village. Joyce loved to travel with her beloved husband, Robert. Together they sailed on 21 cruises to many parts of the world. Her favorite and most meaningful cruise was their trip to the Holy Land. Her greatest satisfaction, joy and success in life came from spending time with her family. How she loved to prepare Sunday dinners, plan fun holiday events, and play games with them. She enthusiastically attended her daughters' and grandchildren's activities as their biggest fan. She established family traditions that will be carried on for generations to come. The motto which she chose for her family was "Return with Honor." Her legacy will be the example she has left behind as she, herself, has certainly returned with honor. Joyce is survived by her husband, Robert; her daughters: Teri (David) Ferney; Diane (Paul) Smith; and Carolyn (Robert) Buma; her sisters: Thelma Mellor and Glenna (Glade) Peterson. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Neil. Her funeral service will be June 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon at the Olympus Cove church - 3832 Oakview Drive. Visitation with the family will be at the church on Saturday morning from 10:30-11:30 and on Friday evening from 6:00-8:00 at the church. Interment will follow at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park. The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the many caregivers and medical personnel who have helped Joyce with her health challenges throughout the years. They are particularly appreciative of the expert care she received through the University of Utah Healthcare system. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to Utah Youth Village or the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Published in Deseret News from May 30 to May 31, 2013
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