Coleman Mortuary: Obituaries

Coleman Mortuary

Joyce Dickhoff
(September 28, 1926 - December 4, 2012)

In the early hours of Tuesday, December 4, 2012, Joyce Dickhoff of Hoquiam, Washington escaped the relentless grip of Alzheimer’s and was welcomed into the glorious presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In her new home, she is enjoying an awareness and capacity for truth that far exceeds even the considerable aptitude that was so evident to those who knew her on this side of the veil. Joyce was born Lillian Joyce Turner to Dan and Edna (Milliron) Turner on September 28, 1926, in Olympia, Washington. She grew up on a small farm in South Bay just outside of Olympia, Washington. During this time, she became known by the part of her name that became indicative of what she brought to all who knew her, Joy. There she grew and participated in the chores related to such a family enterprise, milking cows, gathering eggs and especially picking raspberries. She attended South Bay Grade School and graduated from Olympia High School in 1944. She was an active member of the yearbook staff and an active member of First Assembly of God (now Evergreen Christian Community).

She attended Northwest Bible Institute in Seattle (now Northwest University in Kirkland) where she earned a three-year diploma. She was invited to return to complete a newly offered fourth-year and earn bachelor’s degree. She graduated again in 1948.

When asked what she hoped to accomplish in her fourth year she indicated that she hoped to find a husband. Her goal was realized as she worked at a drug store soda fountain and met a fellow student from Montana. He liked ice cream and fell in love with the girl who served it. One of the things that attracted her to this young man was the affection he expressed for his younger siblings back home. Their first date was a trip around Green Lake on a rented bicycle built for two. Donald Dickhoff and Joyce Turner Dickhoff became husband and wife on July 28, 1948.

Joyce was a devoted wife and mother. She considered her role as a pastor’s wife as a true partner in ministry with her husband. She obeyed the scriptural admonition to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Her family would witness her sincere empathy that elicited both emotions. She could shift from one responsibility to the other within minutes as she celebrated with some and comforted others who would call or visit the parsonage. The communities where Don and Joyce ministered included McCleary, Bucoda, Copalis Crossing and Hoquiam.

She was also known for her no-nonsense counsel. She was skilled at combining appropriate humor with little barbs that might be considered sarcastic if her wisdom and love were not so apparent.

Her command of the English language was impressive. She insisted that her children and grandchildren learn the proper use of language and encouraged the expansion of vocabulary by using words that may need clarification for young listeners. She would provide that clarification when she sensed any lack of understanding. It was her conviction that some people resorted to coarse language because they did not posses adequate vocabularies to express themselves. Hence, part of her correction for the use of inappropriate words was to remind the offender that such language might be a sign of a need for a more advanced use of vocabulary. She did however love to take advantage of an opportunity to make puns out of suitable words. When asked if she would cooperate she may respond: “Does that mean you coo and we operate?”

Joyce always enjoyed children: her own, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, those in the church and those who were in her community. She taught children in church venues and was a long time pre-school teacher touching the lives of hundreds of children in the Grays Harbor community. She rarely needed to take strict measures but always disciplined in a manner that assured the one being disciplined that they were loved. In the early years as she realized her own decline in mental acuity, she knew that she had a better grasp on things in the more distant past than those in the present. As an exercise to compensate for what she knew were diminishing abilities she capitalized on the situation and began recording the anecdotes of children that brought her joy and preserved them for her family to enjoy.

Other vocational pursuits included coloring photographs with oil paints prior to the advent of color film. Writing news columns about the community events in Bucoda sold to newspapers in Tenino, Olympia and Centralia. These columns recounted the “who’s doing what and where with whom” much the way FaceBook works in the modern era.

She was an excellent homemaker. Her table always had room for a drop-in guest or the surprise visit from a family that just happened to drop by. She could cook for an army or for one of her family with equally delectable results. Her cinnamon rolls were legendary and her cheesecake pie recipe is still employed to satisfy generations to come. Her great-grandchildren are now gathering early on Thanksgiving Day to carry on a tradition that she established of making fresh dinner rolls to accompany the feast.

One of the most apt descriptions of Joyce is that she was a friend of Jesus. This was not only evidenced in what she said about Him but how she conversed with Him. It was her habit to pray in a most reverent and yet unreligious manner. As she went about her duties whether it was cleaning, cooking, or just taking a walk, it was not at all unusual or unnatural for her to pray. These were never the kind of prayers meant for those who might overhear them but were simply heartfelt conversations she was comfortable having with her Friend and Savior. They included prayers of thanksgiving, intercession and praise. If you happened to be in need of prayer and were within earshot, it neither inhibited the conversation nor enhanced it. It would however, be comforting or convicting depending on one’s condition at the time. She taught those around her by example that it is possible and indeed natural to pray without ceasing.

Joyce is mother to five children, all surviving: Carol (Steve) Ford of Hoquiam, Stan (Bonnie) Dickhoff of Lacey, Elaine (Dave) Farmer of Aberdeen, Alice (Gunter) Bertram of Montesano, and Dean (Jackie) Dickhoff of Hoquiam. Her grandchildren include Gerald (Geri) Ford of Hoquiam, Aaron (Amber) Hoff of Port Orchard, Stephanie (Dan) Rodrigues of Hoquiam, Dr. Rachel (Mark) Reeg of Lacey, Doug (Ranee) Farmer of Montesano, Dan (Karen) Farmer of Renton, Matthew Hoff of Tumwater, Andrew (Mandy) Hoff of Tumwater, Joel Dickhoff of Spokane and The Honorable Jasmine Dickhoff of Hoquiam. The current great-grandchildren count stands at fifteen. Her sister Birdie Cochran of Davenport, Washington also survives her. Her Husband, Reverend Donald Dickhoff and her brother, Ralph Turner preceded her in death.

The celebration of her life will be held on Friday, December 14, 2012.

A graveside service of internment at the Sunset Memorial Park in Hoquiam will be at 10:00 am, Friday, December 14, 2012.

A memorial service at 11:00 am, Friday, December 14, 2012 at Coleman Mortuary Chapel, 422 - 5th Street, Hoquiam, Washington 98550.

A reception for family and friends will be held at 12:30 PM at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 400 East First Street, Aberdeen, Washington 98520.

Direction is by the Coleman Mortuary in Hoquiam.

Please take a few moments to record your thoughts for the family by signing the on-line register at www.colemanmortuary.net.