Our beautiful mom, grandma, and friend, Phyllis “Joyce” Ream, also known as Jo, graduated to our heavenly home early on the morning Good Friday, April 2, 2021, at the age of 86. She was born in Boise, Idaho, November 4, 1934, to LeRoy Owens and Inez Elaine Ransom Nate, and grew up in the Central Idaho/Oregon area. She was the second child, having an older brother and a younger sister.
When Joyce was little, she looked like the movie star Shirley Temple with her bouncy ringlets. As a young child, Joyce’s eyes were damaged when a canning jar exploded while helping her mom in the kitchen, leaving her with impaired eyesight the rest of her life. However, this did not stop her from reading books and performing other activities even when she developed macular degeneration later in life.
Joyce moved 21 times in her first 18 years of life. Her family was great at “flipping houses.” She attended many different schools and participated in many clubs. She graduated from Meridian High School in 1952 and was the senior class secretary. She continued her education in business at La Salle Extension University based in Chicago, Illinois.
She worked many jobs including babysitting, movie theater usher, swimming pool concessions, apple and cherry warehouse worker, and secretarial work for Garrett Freight Lines. Her first job out of high school was running an elevator for C.C. Anderson’s department store, then cashier, and then was promoted to operating charge phones (credit cards). She was living in Portland, Oregon, and working for Douglas-Guardian when she married Lee C. Ream of Dingle, Idaho.
When Joyce was in her teens, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and in order to heal needed to be in a drier and cooler climate. Her parents sent her to stay with her Aunt Ellen and Uncle Roscoe Bischoff in Wardboro, Idaho, and this is where she met Lee. However, after returning to Portland, several years passed before they reconnected. Joyce and Lee were married June 12, 1960 in the “Chapel in the Hills” at Mount Hood in Cherryville, Oregon. They and their 5 children were later sealed as a family in the Logan Utah Temple on July 12, 1973.
Being a refined city girl, embracing country life in Dingle was a challenge Joyce determinedly accepted. She was still elegant and beautiful and always dressed up to go to “town,” but also became a country girl. She mastered her skills in sewing, canning, baking (her pies, bread, and rolls were amazing), decorating, driving a tractor/swather, branding and vaccinating cattle, and riding a horse on cattle drives. Her home was always spotless and she worked at having a well manicured yard. She learned to grow a wonderful garden with an abundance of raspberries. She and Lee worked together on their ranch and dry farm in Pine Springs. It was a family effort and they taught their children the value of hard work through their great examples. It is a marvel how she accomplished all that she did!
Joyce was a woman of faith as manifested in her great love for the Savior, Jesus Christ. She could often be seen sitting in the living room reading her scriptures. Having music, pictures, and books about the Savior in her home was important to her. She enjoyed attending Know Your Religion and BYU Education Week.
Joyce was a woman of service. This was her love language. She not only served her family with great love but also served in many church callings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Primary was her most favorite. She has a great love for children! She served as Primary President in the Dingle Ward before being called to serve as Stake Primary President in the Montpelier South State, a calling she held for 8 years. However, the service which brought her and Lee the most joy was serving as temple workers in the Logan Temple.
Community service was also something Joyce was involved in, including Jaycee-ettes and the 4-H program. She was the leader of many 4-H clubs and was invited to be a cooking and clothing judge at county fairs all over the state of Idaho.
Joyce was a woman of fun. Family traditions and celebrating holidays were important to her including spring picnics and also on cattles drives or when gathering firewood; going to Bear Lake, camping, and spending the day in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, each summer; camping and bow hunting in the fall; to ice skating parties in the winter. Family birthday parties were held each month and Christmas traditions included hand-dipping chocolate and making cookies especially Bratzles.
Joyce was a woman of wisdom. She was a friend, confidante, and someone to go to for advice and help.
Joyce was a woman of strength and endurance. Her learning experiences these past 5 years as she has struggled with the effects of dementia have been a challenge for all of her family, but her strength and endurance have been a sure testimony to many. She could often be heard singing “You are My Sunshine,” to get her through her difficult days after Lee was no longer with her on a daily basis.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Lee, just 7 months ago, their son Danny, her parents, and brother Gordon. Joyce is survived by her sister, Norma, and her children Jolaine (Evan) Skinner, Lori (Brent) Stephenson, Scott (Mara) Ream, and Audra (J.D.) Robertson, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who all love her very much.
Funeral services will be held under the direction of Schwab-Matthews Mortuary Friday, April 9, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Dingle, 4197 Dingle Road. A viewing will begin at 9:30 a.m. with services at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at the Dingle Cemetery.
The family wishes to express gratitude to the staff of Bear Lake Skilled Nursing Facility, the Dingle Ward Relief Society, and the many family and friends for their loving kindness and concern.
Mom/Grandma, we may have had a long good-bye, but we look forward to the day we can give you a hug and say hello again Sunshine!
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