Joyce DeWitt Thompson
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Joyce DeWitt Thompson

7/9/1929 - 10/26/2018

Joyce Kay DeWitt Thompson, passed away in her home in Ashland on Friday, October 26, 2018.

She was in her 90th year and surrounded by her loving family.

A daughter of Arizona pioneers, she was born in her parent's bedroom in a small home in Mesa, Arizona on July 9, 1929. She was the youngest of four girls born to Elizabeth and Kenneth DeWitt. She is the last survivor of her sisters and her husbands, Kent Haws and Dale Thompson. She is survived by her two daughters, Cydne Haws Jensen (Michael) of Ashland and Sara Haws Gilman (Paul) of Palo Alto, CA; her four grandchildren: Daniel Gilman (Caitlin) of Boston, MA, Elizabeth Gilman Gundersen (Philip) of Oslo, Norway, Rachel Gilman and Emma Gilman of the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also survived by three great grandsons: Gray and Kiloh Gilman of Boston, and Oliver Gundersen of Oslo Norway.

A resident of Ashland Oregon since 2000, Joyce loved her adopted home in the beautiful Rogue Valley. Arriving at age 71, she spent her retirement years working part-time at the Tudor Guild for five years, then for the OSF membership department for another 10 years. She became a familiar and beloved face in her membership booth each season, greeting festival visitors and racking up new membership subscribers with her warmth, passion, and positive energy. She was described by friends at OSF as a life force, a dedicated and proud member of the company who was a joy to talk to and whom many sought out to renew their memberships specifically with each year. After retiring from OSF at age 87, she became a volunteer at the Welcome Center up until August of this year. Joyce was also a volunteer docent at the Schneider Art Museum, a member of the Art Explorers, and a co-founder of the very successful Ashland Hospice Boutique.

Joyce had many talents and worked at many jobs over her lifetime, never shying from a challenge to learn something new. She was an expert seamstress, a consummate homemaker, cook and hostess. Her grandchildren remember her delicious homemade cookies, breads, and pumpkin muffins at special occasions; her thoughtful stylish gifts and shopping trips; and, most of all her loving unconditional encouragement and support. She was a loving mother and grandmother to seven, aunt to 18 nieces and nephews, and friend to all she knew. She and her second husband Dale Thompson started and developed a small business in the aeronautics field, a lifelong goal of theirs. After his death, she continued to work in the financial services industries at Smith Barney and the Stanford Investment group in Palo Alto, California. She was always keen to stay abreast of new technologies and politics, her grandchildren loving their FaceTime chats and texts and emails over their Granny's smartphone and iPad. Joyce truly embraced change with grace and style.

The family wishes to thank the Asante Hospice Service, particularly nurses Holly, Beth Ann, and Katie who were so kind and helpful during the final weeks and days of her illness. We will be forever grateful for your help during her passing.

Printed Obituary
Published in the Daily Tidings
on November 8, 2018
Click to view a printable version