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Howe Mortuary & Crematory

439 Coffman St, Longmont, CO

OBITUARY

Joyce Marie Ward

June 30, 1946February 29, 2020

Joyce Marie Ward, of Longmont, Colorado, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on February 29, 2020, at the age of 73 years.

Joyce was born on June 30, 1946, in LeMars, IA, the first of eleven children to Elmer and Bonnie (Tritz) Gerken. She graduated from Cathedral High School (Denver) in 1964 and received a registered nursing degree from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing (Sioux City, IA) in 1967.

Joyce married (Maurice) Michael “Mike” Ward on December 30, 1967, at St. James Catholic Church in Denver, CO. The couple moved to Tacoma, WA, where Joyce accepted her first nursing job and Mike was stationed with the United States Air Force. In 1969, Mike was deployed to Southeast Asia and Joyce moved back to Denver to be closer to family and work as a nurse at Mercy Hospital. In June 1970, the couple relocated to Great Falls, MT, for a year while Joyce continued her nursing career. In 1971, they came back to Colorado where Joyce returned to Mercy Hospital in Denver.

In 1974, Mike and Joyce decided to settle their family in the Longmont area where Joyce worked at Longmont United Hospital and Boulder Community Hospital as a labor and delivery nurse. It was during the later years of her nursing career, as she began to spend more time at home, when she decided to operate an in-home daycare for a few years as well. After 21 years of working as a nurse in the Longmont-Boulder area, Joyce decided to retire from nursing in 1995. Eventually, Joyce would become a full-time Grandma and devoted the majority of her time babysitting her grandchildren.

In February 2005, at the age of 58, Joyce and Mike decided to venture into entrepreneurship. They formed Ward Electric Company, Inc., an electrical contracting company, and operated out of one of the spare bedrooms in their home. In 2012, two of their sons acquired Ward Electric and continue to run the operations under the same family values that Joyce insisted upon when she first established the company with her husband.

Joyce was devoted to her Catholic faith. She was a long-time parish member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. She loved to pray the Rosary, sing hymnal music, and dedicate daily time to prayer.

Next to her love of faith, was her adoration for her family. She adored spending time with her children and grandchildren by hosting family dinners, watching sporting events, and celebrating birthdays. She loved to sew and sing along to the Beach Boys. She enjoyed the summer lake days and driving the boat. Her favorite holiday was Christmas. She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who was proud of her faith and family. Her strength, compassion, and generous heart will be missed by so many.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her loving husband of 52 years and seven children: Dr. Daniel (Catherine) Ward, Steven (Kendra) Ward, James (Cheryl) Ward, David (Jodi) Ward, Mark (Megan) Ward, Monica Ward, and Matthew (Melissa) Ward. She was a loving Grandma to 20 grandchildren: Caitlyn, Kevin, Nathan, Amanda, Ashley, Annie, Kody, Konnor, Hagan, Loralee, Ethan, Brendan, Makayla, Gracie, Beckham, Bode, Kaden, Kristian, Mattie and Baby Ward (due in June).

Joyce is also survived by her 10 siblings and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be on Thursday, March 5, 2020, from 2:00 P.M. - 6:30 P.M. at Howe Mortuary & Crematory, 439 Coffman St., Longmont, CO 80501. Rosary service will begin at 6:30 P.M.

The funeral Mass service will be held on Friday, March 6, 2020, at 9:30 A.M. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 323 Collyer St., Longmont, CO 80501. Interment will immediately follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Longmont, with a reception to follow at St. John the Baptist Catholic School Gymnasium, 350 Emery St., Longmont, CO 80501.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. John the Baptist Catholic School, 350 Emery Street, Longmont, CO 80501.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, March 5, 2020
  • Rosary Prayers Thursday, March 5, 2020
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, March 6, 2020
  • Burial Friday, March 6, 2020
  • Reception to follow the burial Friday, March 6, 2020

Memories

Joyce Marie Ward

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Christine O’Brien

March 5, 2020

Joyce and I shared many joyful moments as our children attended St. John’s elementary school at the same time. My son Dan was in Steve’s class and Barry was in Jim’s. Oh the many sporting events that we shared and the conversations that we had. I remember Joyce and her family with sincere fondness.

Renee Biggerstaff

March 4, 2020

Thinking of how lucky my children were to have Joyce as their babysitter. Chandra was only 6 weeks old when I had to leave her with Joyce to go to work. Joyce made me feel so comfortable knowing she was in her loving arms. Then an opening came and Scott got to be with Joyce as well. Thank you Joyce for all the love and compassion you gave my children and me. I loved picking them up and having a few minutes to talk to you. You always had great words of wisdom. Your family will pass your loving kindness on you taught them well. My thoughts are with all of your sweet family. Renee (Pitcher) Biggerstaff

Gretchen Cummings

March 4, 2020

What an appropriate picture of Joyce, as heaven has received an angel! Sending my deepest sympathy to Mike, Mark, Matt and the entire Ward family, which goes far beyond those who were related to Joyce. She touched many of our lives in different ways, including the legacy, family, coworkers, friends and business she leaves behind. I can imagine her dancing in heaven - with no restrictions, filled with joy and lovingly watching over her husband and flock!

In loving memory of an amazing lady!

Gretchen Cummings

Regina Cooke

March 3, 2020

When my Sister Mary and were young we spent a lot of time with Uncle Mike and Aunt Joyce and the boys. Those were most of the wonderful memories I have tgey brought us in and were wonderful for that and I love them very much. Aunt Joyce always smiling and always teaching just being loving.. Thank you so much. I have and will miss you always. Rest in Peace.
With love Regina.

Kathy Danzl

March 3, 2020

I loved Joyce like a sister. The word “like” was not in her vocabulary. She LOVED everyone. And everything was “Awesome” and that is truly how she looked at the world. We shared the beautiful joy of raising our kids together, sneaking up to see Benedict Hall when no one was allowed and having Fr Fox meet us there unexpectedly. Fund raisers at St Johns, being class mothers for every grade from 3rd through 8th and lots and lots of secrets that only sisters share. Sitting in freezing cold baseball games and using Mikes electrical gloves and coats to keep warm. But most of all We shared “Pennies from Heaven” and no matter how long it had been in between our visits, if we found a penny we knew in our heart that we always would be thinking of each other. I miss her immensely. She is an angel. Love to you Joyce.

Cheryl Rogers

March 2, 2020

All the children would flock to see their Gramma, it was heartwarming to see, God bless her beautiful soul, Joyce always had a warm smile for me and made me feel special, I will miss her😇

Lynne Gerken

March 2, 2020

A beautiful wife, mother, sister and friend! You will be missed dear Joyce!!