Lucille Joyce Wells died December 7, 2014, at Brandel Manor in Turlock. Joyce, as she was known to her family and friends, was born February 4, 1933, to Henry and Marie Schoonhoven (nee Hoogeveen) in Steen, MN. At the age of 9, she moved with her family to Ripon, CA, graduating from Ripon High School, to begin work as a secretary and later an office manager for various locally owned companies.
Through the 1950’s Joyce was involved in the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, volunteering in local missions to migrant farm workers and attending the World Congress of Christian Endeavor in conjunction with a European tour.
In1959, Joyce married Otis Wells of Hilmar, CA, designed and built a new home, adjacent to the Well’s family farm at Verde and Riverside. In 1960, Joyce and Otis welcomed their son, John Henry, into the family. The family made their living farming, initially in dairy and then planting an orchard, joining the Blue Diamond as almond growers.
In addition to farming, Joyce developed her writing skills to become a newspaper ‘stringer’ in the mid 1960’s and early 70’s, reporting Hilmar’s news, sports and human-interest stories for the Turlock Journal, Modesto Bee and Merced Sun Star.
Keenly committed to the ideal of Christian service, Joyce volunteered in church and mission work throughout her life and joined with Otis in supporting multiple Christian radio ministries, offering office support, story writing and construction labor willingly as needed. In the 1990’s, a highlight was to complete a volunteer term with radio station KICY in Nome, Alaska.
Joyce and Otis enjoyed travel, touring throughout Canada and visiting every State in the U.S. at least once by plane, train or automobile. Making friends all along their way, they opened their homes in the desert (Tecopa Hot Springs), mountains (Tehachapi) and valley (Hilmar) to a host of visitors. After selling the farm in the 1980’s, they lived seasonally, between the desert, mountains and valley.
Suffering from decades of progressive degenerating health as of result of Parkinson’s disease, Joyce lived her last 5 years with severe mobility limitations. Yet, even in infirmity she remained attentive to the wellbeing of her family as well as the staff attending to her care.
Joyce Wells is survived by her husband of 55 years, Otis Wells; son John Henry (Shelley) Wells; granddaughter Amanda Wells and sister JoAnn (Melvin) Paulsen. There will be a private burial with a public Memorial Service at Hilmar Covenant Church December 20, 2014 at 12 noon. Remembrances in the name of Lucille Joyce Wells can be donated to Missionary Gospel Fellowship, 1300 N Berkeley Ave, Turlock, CA, 95380. Please share your memories at www.AllenMortuary.com