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Obituary: STEPHENSON, JOYCE

Joyce Marie Barrett Stephenson1924 ~ 2013Joyce Marie Barrett Stephenson (89) passed away after a long and fruitful life of service, devotion and faith on April 13, 2013 of causes incident to old age. She was born April 1924 in Logan, Utah to Myrtle Jeppson and Walter William Barrett. Her life until age 15 was spent in Logan, Utah, when her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. After graduating from high school there, Joyce went into nurse's training at LDS Hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. While doing a rotation during her training in Spokane, Washington, she met Loran D. Stephenson at a weekly church meeting known as the Doctrine and Covenants Club. Attracted to Loran by his enthusiasm for and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, their courtship resulted in marriage for eternity in the Logan Temple July 1946. In October 1946, Loran received and accepted a call to full-time missionary service in the Central States Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their first child, Loran Dean Jr., was born in California where Joyce was staying with her parents during the separation, working as a nurse and caring for their infant son.Joyce and Loran were reunited in October 1948 and went to Provo, Utah to attend Brigham Young University. During that time four more children were born: Linda Joyce, Mark Barrett, Jonathan Harris, and Judith Marie. Joyce also took a creative writing class at BYU and this experience was the beginning of her life-long interest in expressing her thoughts, feelings and experiences in poetry. Joyce continued to work during these years as a nurse, an occupation that she actively pursued throughout her life. Most of Joyce's professional work was spent caring for newborn infants and their mothers. After Loran graduated from BYU the family lived in small communities in Utah, Idaho, and Oregon. Their sixth child, Carl Jeppson, was born in Idaho. Shortly after this birth the family moved to Washington D.C. where Loran taught music in the public schools. While in Washington D. C. three more children, Joanna Jean, Sharon Ellen, and Olan Anderson, were born.Joyce served faithfully in many church callings and was a gifted gospel teacher and a faithful visiting teacher. Her poetry was a gift of faith to family and friends. She took the opportunity to discuss the gospel with friends and co-workers, sharing the gospel message throughout her life. The family moved to Philadelphia, PA in 1966 in order to secure better opportunities for musical education for their children. All the children played string instruments and they formed a family orchestra, The Stephenson Strings, while in Washington D. C., playing concerts both there and in Philadelphia. Joyce supported the development of these talents and worked at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania while Loran taught in the Philadelphia School District.As their children left home, Joyce and Loran purchased a farm outside Frederick, Maryland and retired there. They eventually sold this property in order to serve a family history mission together in Salt Lake City. After this experience, Joyce and Loran moved to Idaho, where they served as workers in the Boise Temple. In order to be at a location more easily accessible to visits by their children and grandchildren, Joyce and Loran moved to Salt Lake City where Joyce continued to write, serve, attend the temple, and crochet (a life-long interest) for her growing family. Here she helped create a home where her nine children and their families could visit and find a loving respite from the world. Joyce and Loran have 50 grandchildren and 86 great-grandchildren, all of whom cherish her hand-made gifts of love.Joyce is survived by her husband of 66 years, Loran D. Stephenson, Sr., and her children and their spouses, Loran D. Jr. (Yvonne) of VA, Linda (John) Sickles of SC, Mark (Holly) of VA, Jonathan (Beverly) of PA, Judith (Charles) Muldowney of PA, Carl (Susan) of AZ, Joanna (Dennis) Price of SC, Sharon (Mark) Vasicek of MA, and Olan (Tamara) of NC.Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 16 at 3 pm at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. A viewing will be held on Monday evening from 6 to 8 pm and on Tuesday from 1:45 pm to 2:45 pm prior to services. Interment will be on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 1 pm in Wendell City Cemetery, Wendell, Idaho.