My beloved aunt, Joyce Pendley Odell died quietly this morning, after a two year battle with cancer. There are no words to express how deeply her loss will be felt. Known to all who knew and loved her as “Joy”, she truly did bring much joy into our lives.
Born 3 January 1939 in Oak Creek, Arizona Joy was the eighth of nine children born to Frank and Jane Pendley. Born and raised on the historic Pendley homestead which has since become Slide Rock State Park, Joy’s family taught her values of honesty, hard work, appreciation for humor and kindness to others. She had a deep love of nature and was an excellent cook.
On 3 Sep 1955 Joy married Roy Odell. After a long and productive career in Seattle, Roy and Joy retired to Sequim, WA where they made many dear friends. They were the parents of three daughters: Leslie Gay (wife of Randy Wood) of Renton, WA; Colleen (wife of Pat Mace) of Bothell, WA and Brenda (wife of Tim Puryear) of Kent, WA. They had seven grandchildren: Aaron, Eric and Kristin Wood, Jack and William Mace, and Benjamin and Victoria Puryear.
On a personal note, my Aunt Joy was a hugely significant influence in my life. My own parents both died while I was in my early 20’s. Joy became the touch stone for me to tell me things about my family’s history and to teach me lessons of how to be a wife, mother and grandmother. Our visits were rich with laughter as she generously shared of her wisdom, her kitchen and her closets. She gave me more love and acceptance than any other woman I’ve ever known.
Joy was a loyal friend to many and took all her relationships seriously - whether being neighbor, mother, daughter, sister, cousin or aunt. She went out of her way to do special things for people. She was never pretentious. She was warm and funny, and in the words of her older brother Tom, "a class act".
I've gathered together a few family photos of Joy with those she loved. You can access the slideshow by clicking HERE.
Obviously there are many, many people who were important in Joy's life that I do not have the pictures of... but you all know who you are. Whether on film or simply in our hearts, our memories of Joy will be sweet.