Helen Joyce Attwood

October 11, 1930December 11, 2012

Joyce “Joy” Nickell Attwood

Joyce “Joy” Nickell Attwood passed away peacefully on December 11, 2012 at her home in the Rockwood Retirement Community with her husband, Wayne Attwood by her side. Joy was born on October 11, 1930 in Smith Center, Kansas the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. I.E. Nickell. She was raised in Smith Center and attended grade school and high school there. She went on to higher education at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. There she seriously pursued her long-standing passion in the visual arts. Her principle interest was in the design and creation of one of a kind jewelry pieces. Although Joy and Wayne had been raised in the same small town and were friends since the age of 3 and 4, it was at the University that they realized they were soul mates and that led to their marriage on December 9, 1951. Their union produced 3 wonderful children, 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

While Wayne completed his medical training, Joy was active in pursuing her artistic talents. Her unique style of jewelry has been collected privately and has appeared in shows and galleries nationally and internationally. Joy and Wayne moved to Spokane with their three children in July of 1963. In spite of the demands of raising three children, Joy became very active in the Spokane art community. She was particularly active in the Spokane Art School, having served on its board. She taught many classes and inspired her students to love and pursue the arts. In 1972 Joy opened a jewelry design studio as one of the original shop owners in Second City, and she inspired others to join in this unique venture. Other demands on her time prompted her to sell the successful shop in 1974 and she pursued the creation of her unique style of jewelry in her studio in her home. One of her great delights in later years was creating and giving beaded bracelets and necklaces to friends, family, and anyone who needed joy. She gave away nearly 300 bracelets.

In addition to her deep involvement in the art community she also was very active in the Spokane YWCA, where she served on its board and in the Girl Scouts, where she was a co-leader of a troop. The troop went on many exciting adventures including a 100 mile round trip bicycle ride from Spokane to Farragut State Park in Idaho. She was involved in many activities relative to her children’s schooling. She was a member of “The Assistants, Inc.” of Spokane and very active in the church, initially at the Central Christian Church and subsequently at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane.

Joy is survived by her loving husband, Wayne Attwood, with whom she recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary; by their three children and spouses, Lynn Attwood and his wife Loren of Salt Lake City, UT, Michele Attwood and her partner Jim Templeton of Vancouver, WA and Denise Attwood and her husband Ric Conner of Spokane, WA; five grandchildren, Kira Attwood, Amy Attwood-Charles, Brian Attwood, Emily Attwood and Cameron Attwood Conner; two great-grandchildren Owen Becker and Lila Joy Becker. Also, her brother Wendell Nickell of Salina, Kansas.

A “Celebration of Joy” will be held at 2 pm on January. 11, 2013 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 Fort George Wright Drive, Spokane 99224. In lieu flowers donations may be made to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, "The MAC", .,"The Matthew Girvin Scholarship Fund" at the Northwest Community Foundation or the Unitarian Universalist Church.


Helen Joyce Attwood

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Susan Beard

January 24, 2013

I have been blessed to have known Joy and her family....I had a double blessing when after years of knowing the Attwood's and having visited them in their beautiful Baja Casa, I purchased that home and have lived many years surrounded by Joy's artistic contributions. I will miss her greatly and her "Joy-full" spirit! Blessed be.

Josette Wunder

January 13, 2013

To Joy's loving family - I wish to recall all the lovely times that Bill and I and then just me spent with Joy in Spokane, Baja and out at the lake. The warmth of her welcome was ever present, the popcorn always good and sharing with her a love of watching tennis a pleasure. Her unselfish consideration of others was always noticeable. I'm just so sorry I didn't get to see her just one more time before her passing. I will remember her with the fondest of JOYous memories. I pass on my very best wishes to all her family and to you especially Wayne at this time of your loss. Joy will be missed by all who knew her.

Denise Attwood

January 9, 2013

Mom, you have been the light in so many people's lives. You have brought us beauty in your art, beauty in your vision and beauty in your heartfelt love of all of us, just as we are. You have given the teachings of true love, true living, caring, patience and living beyond pain, not through words but through your actions in every moment of your life. I hope that all of us can carry forward this beauty that you held so wonderfully while on earth. Keep guiding us forward, keep sending us "white light". We love you so much and in every moment.

Kelly Lukins

January 8, 2013

Joy was the best of friends to me and my family - always cheerful, funny, loving and giving. She was beautiful and saw beauty in many things and people. She was caring - sending me lots of love and "white light" when I was ill and giving me a great big hug whenever I got back to Spokane. I treasure her gifts of art and jewelry but most of all, I treasure her love. I know there are many others who felt her love. What a wonderful legacy!

Sherry Nickell

January 3, 2013

I light a candle in my heart for my Aunt Joy. When I heard she left this earthly plane and returned to spirit, I couldn't believe it because her light was so bright it shone in my heart 2200 miles away. I thought that time would never be able to let her go. However, I know she will be guardian spirit for many of us that remain behind and are still working on our spiritual evolution. Shine on, Joy!!

Murray and Lynn Huggins

December 25, 2012

Joy was a loving light in our lives and our dear sweet friend. We cherish the years we shared together as great friends in Baja and our summer visits to their cozy lake cabin. Joy was a very unique woman; warm, caring, highly creative and a true family matriarch and very special friend to many. She was truly the jewel among all her jewels! We love you so much our dear Joy!

Kathy Mooney

December 25, 2012

Joy was always so loving and giving. She gave me comfort in my time of need and I felt her maternal caring. She was an inspiration in so many ways. She brought color and creativity with her. I appreciate the things I have around me that will always remind me of her..her Frida Kahlo picture, a lovely vase...a painted snake, a bracelet...I will miss her very much.

Roberta Booth

December 23, 2012

Joy was an incredible woman who touched everyone, and everyone she touched changed.
I am so grateful to have known her, A beautiful light in my life and so many others, she will be in my heart forever.

Tim Girvin

December 23, 2012

Isn't it so that there are some, that each of us have known, that have walked the challenging road, every day, yet still, they manifest an upward bound and happier, cheerful spirit? Joy was one, just as in her name -- always walking the happier path, sharing the uplifted spirit, the generosity of her giving -- "I made a bracelet for you." A person that I long remember, decades back in my life, as the optimist, the loving, the generous, the good-humored and happiest spirit. I shall hold that image, that warmth, in my heart and pay forward that song.

Thank you, Joy, for all that I learned from you. Beauty shared, in grace, a blessing.

Jim King

December 19, 2012

So sorry to hear the news of Joy passing and the great loss to your family. Joy left so many with 'joyous' memories. Before leaving on a trip to India she brought me a big bag of some fruit that she had dried. She said, "I'm sure this will come in handy in India." She was right, when the bus I was on broke down between Udiapur and Mumbia and took us over 30 hours to get there, I thought more than once, while enjoying the fruit, "thank you Joy" Love and Prayers to your family