Joyce Church Ashby, age 89, passed away Friday, July 31, 2020 in Delta, Utah from natural causes. She was born March 6, 1931 in Delta to Robert Grant “Shine” and Yvonne Heyborne Church. She was the oldest of 3 children. As a young girl, she has fond memories of traveling throughout Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana while her dad sheared sheep. Six months after she was born, her grandmother Heyborne gave birth to twins, Neil and Nola. They became known as the triplets, and when Juvene was born the four of them became inseparable. They remained close lifetime friends. Joyce was raised in a loving and caring family with many aunts, uncles and cousins. Family was very important to her.
During high school she met Robert “Bob” Wendell Ashby, fell in love, and they were married in Long Beach, California on December 4, 1948. They were later sealed in the Manti LDS Temple on June 25, 1957. While Dad served in the Navy, stationed in San Francisco, they lived in one of the iconic “Painted Ladies” homes. When Bob was discharged they returned to Delta and they purchased the home she was born in. She was proud of the fact that she lived on the same block for the majority of her life.
She was a loving wife and mother, who sacrificed much for others. She took care of their daughter, Bobbie, for 28 years with love and devotion. She could often be seen pushing Bobbie’s wheelchair up and down the sidewalk with friends and neighbors tagging along. Joyce was a 2 time cancer survivor that supported and inspired others who had the same disease.
Some things Joyce loved to do were Facebook, she is known as “GMJ” to many of us. Other things she enjoyed are: riding in the swather while Bob cut hay, going for rides in the country and photography, her grandchildren were her favorite subjects for pictures. She endured many trips around the golf course while Bob golfed.
She was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in Relief Society, Young Womens, and Sunday School. Joyce had many jobs during her lifetime, she worked at Church and Sons, the Co-op, Mr. G’s/Circle K and delivered pizza for Lotsa Motsa, which she loved. Everywhere she went she made friends and loved everyone unconditionally.
Her whole life was lived in service to others. She cared for Bobbie, her grandparents, parents and husband until he passed away. As her health declined and she had to leave her home, she moved to Diamond D where she made friends and was always serving someone.
She had a love of family history and spent hours researching, putting together pictures and histories. She was able to help reunite Toby’s family with the Ashby family and give them the gift of knowing their ancestors. This was her last great act of service.
She was an amazing mother and grandmother. Every grandchild felt as if they were her favorite, and they were.
Joyce is survived by son: Bill (Ann) Ashby, Delta; daughters: Julie (Dee Jay) Finlinson, Oak City; Nancy Niemann, Mesquite, NV; Karen (Zac) Frampton, Nephi; grandchildren: Brook, Jimi, Mallorie, Jason, Laura, Jono, Jenni, Colt, Caralee, Shay, Jake, Sasha, Andrea, and Hilary; 24 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren; sister: JuVene (Ken) Porter; brother: Gary (Annalee) Church of Delta; sisters-in-law: Colleen Ashby, Ely, NV; and Alice Ashby, TX; brother-in-law: Willie (Ella) Ashby, Ely, NV. Preceded in death by husband: Robert, daughter: Bobbie, and grandson: Jesse Niemann.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 7, at 11:00am, at the Delta LDS Stake Center, 125 S White Sage Ave. A Viewing will be held 9:30-10:40 am, prior to the service. Masks and social distancing are encouraged. Burial will follow in the Delta City Cemetery. The video of the funeral service is available at: https://youtu.be/t7i1Ru5veWc